Make GPL attractive …Rev Osei Kofi tells GFA
A former Ghana international, Rev. Osei Kofi has asked the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to be concerned about crafting a new image for the Ghana Premier League (GPL) in order to be considered one of the top leagues in Africa.
The retired footballer who has been a constant critic of the country’s football administration, said this in reaction to a recent Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) 2022 league rankings which placed the GPL 23rd in Africa.
That, he said, was not good for Ghana, a country that is seen as a leading football nation in the world and not just Africa.
Rev Osei Kofi said there was no need to contest the ranking because there are a number of factors that have not been addressed and have contributed in plunging the GPL in the doldrums.
Speaking to the Times Sports on Tuesday, Rev. Osei Kofi the absence of local players in the Black Stars has contributed to making the league unattractive to the players to stay longer.
That, he said, has also not been helped by recent concerns about match fixing expressed by club officials and doubtful decisions from referee after every match day.
According to him, the GPL was very attractive in the past as it serve as the main reservoir or pool for Black Stars Players; adding that“this is not the case any longer.We cannot brag about that anymore and it is no longer attracting talented players again. The few talented players are always in a hurry to leave for other countries.”
In his view, the saddest aspect of the GPL’s sad story was the appeals to foreign based players to swap nationalities to play for Ghana.
“This sends a big message out there; that we are lacking or not grooming very good players capable of showing our true football colours to the world and now we need players born outside to come to our rescue.”
The former Asante Kotoko winger said it was important for the GFA to note that the quality of the GPL would always be determined by the number of local players that feature for the national teams.
“In Ghana, even the best player of the previous season’s league was not been called to the Black Stars.We can even ignore out top players and go those featuring in lower tier competitions outside. The signal to the players is that, if you want to play for the Black Stars, then you must be foreign based.”
“Hearts of Oak participated in the CAF Champions League as our champions but we all saw the manner they were kicked out. That speaks volumes of the level of competition we have. Hearts conquered all on the local scene but went to Africa and struggled all the way to the end.”
“I believe that reviving our football is the responsibility of the GFA. I want to urge them to sit up and revive it and make sure we return to our glory days.”
Commenting on the Black Stars, Rev Osei Kofi urged the GFA to maintain the technical team that guided Ghana to her fourth World Cup, after the two cagey ties with the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
That team had Otto Addo as Head Coach, with Coach Didi Dramani and George Boateng as assistant coaches with Chris Houghton as an advisor.
According to him, the technical team must be credited for the feat orchestrated within a few months.
“I want the GFA to maintain the same technical team that qualified us to the World Cup.Using some few weeks to qualify a team that had one point at the AFCON in Cameroon to qualify for the World Cup is not an easy task.They proved a lot of the critics wrong.”
“Tactically, they are very good coaches. I believe if they are maintained, Ghana will go far in the World Cup. They look united with a common purpose. They can build the unity in the whole team and that will be very god for us.”
BY EMMANUEL ASANTE