Coach of Women’s Premier League (WPL) side, Northern Ladies, Sumani Bashirudeen, has advocated for the cancellation of the football season in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, citing the lack of sponsorship and preparedness to return as the basis for his call.
“Coach Bash” as he is affectionately known, urged the FA and stakeholders to rather turn their focus on using the period to embark on a massive sponsorship drive to improve the various leagues.
“We have no sponsors for the league and yet we are clamouring for a return, fully aware of the financial strain we have to bear; I think this is misplaced. I would rather urge the FA to cancel the league and turn a laser-focus to getting sponsors to repackage the league to become financially attractive.
“Because the truth is whatever financial injection we are aiming for will most likely not be enough.”
He also expressed concern about the grave challenge coaches would be confronted with working with limited infrastructure should the green light be given for a resumption.
“Should the league resume, as coaches, we are going to have serious issues because we don’t have the structures like the Europeans do. We don’t have good training facilities and the prospect of testing everyone seems far-fetched. The FA should cancel the season and plan well for next season.”
Coach Bash highlighted how devastating COVID-19 has been on the women’s game and player’s development.
“Training the men is different from the women, when you train the men they adapt faster than the women.
“A lot of them are in the early stages of their development and therefore a four month break due to COVID-19 means that we have to take them back to cover previous areas which will delay their learning. Personally, I gave my team some personal training routine to guide their individual training but the women need special attention and so our programme for them has been greatly affected. Apart from the technical difficulties we are also bleeding financially since we camped most of the girls.”
His statements ties in with comments from WPL committee chairperson, Hillary Boaten who asserted that the female clubs were in deep financial crisis in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that the lack of football activities was driving most of the ladies into promiscuous lifestyles.
BY NANA BENTSI ODURO