Football fans have been advised to desist from hooliganism and other unacceptable acts to protect the viability of clubs in the country.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Ghana Premier League (GPL) side, Karela United, Mr. Elleony Amande, who gave the caution said clubs essentially become victims of such violence perpetuated by their own fans as they become unattractive to the corporate world.
“Clubs across the globe rely heavily on corporate entities to run effectively. If hooliganism is associated with it, no brand would want to do business with the particular club and it eventually affects its reputation and viability,” he stated.
Mr. Amande was speaking at the maiden 3Sports and Ghana Football Association (GFA) forum on hooliganism in football held on Tuesday in Accra.
He said it would be in the interest of the fans and their club to conduct in a manner that would not only that will put the game’s image into disrepute while the club also suffers punitive measures in conformity with the rules that governs the game.
He said “in situations where clubs are banned from their home grounds due to hooliganism, it impacts heavily on the club’s budget and puts a huge financial burden on the club.
“There is also the cost of policing which also burdens the security services as well as parents unwillingness to take their kids to a game for fear of being attacked,” he added.
This, he said, deprives the next generation from building affection for football.
“Violence is spreading beyond the fans and getting to the players. We seem to have lost control over the situation. We must act fast to fix that side of our game and the sky would be the limit for Ghana football,” he stressed.
Adding his voice, President of the Ghana Rugby Association (GRA) and former football administrator, Mr Herbert Mensah who spoke via zoom, said, all stakeholders must rally behind the fight against hooliganism to protect the game.
“Let’s clean up the image to get support from sponsors, especially as we are getting out of COVID-19 and companies would need some brand associations to rise,” he stated.
The GFA, he said, must work with stakeholders and supporting groups as well as the media to ensure hooliganism was curbed, otherwise, the authorities must have to punish the perpetuators.
Also speaking on the topic “Hooliganism as a threat to Sports Journalism,” Mr. Jerome Otchere, a Sports Journalist said the work of journalists becomes even more difficult with fans misconducting themselves at matches.
“They (media) are thrown into a dilemma when bad things happen and sometimes left with no choice than to report as it is despite their interest in presenting positive images on Ghana football,” he said.
He advised club owners and administrators to educate their supporters while urging the police to arrest and prosecute offenders to serve as deterrent to others.
GPL: Final day matches to kick off simultaneously
The Ghana Football Association (GFA), has directed that all the final day matches of the 2020/21 Ghana Premier League (GPL) on Saturday and Sunday must kick-off simultaneous at 3:00pm without any failure.
The GFA has since warned all Match Officials to do everything in their power to start the matches at exactly 3:00pm without delay whatsoever.
The GFA further stated that, no excuses shall be entertained and there shall be severe punishment meted out to Match Officials who flout the important directive.
‘’We urge all Referees and Match Commissioners to abide by the Laws of the Game and the GFA Regulations in order to make the Association and themselves proud in the last round of matches, a statement from the FA said.
It noted that failure to do so shall attract severe sanctions.
BY MICHAEL D.ABAYATEYE