Three-time Ghana League winner with Asante Kotoko, Rev Osei Kofi, has waded into the ongoing debate as to whether to continue with the current Ghana league season or cancel it, stating that it would be suicidal for the club to play behind closed doors.
“If clubs are allowed to play behind closed doors, by the time football returns the normal way, the teams would collapse,” he insisted.
The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has currently adopted the wait-and-see approach as it hopes the government will make a favourable decision on contact sports by June 30, 2020, for them to take a concrete decision on the return of the sport.
One of the proposed options for the football association is to follow the example of Germany, England, Spain and the rest of the European countries who are have adopted playing the game behind closed doors.
Many sports administrators, club owners, footballers and fans alike are holding diverse views on the return of the sport, but the celebrated Ghana star believes following the European example would not help here in Ghana.
In a chat with the Times Sports yesterday, Rev Kofi stated that Ghana was not a country prepared to have football played behind closed doors, and expect to achieve positive results.
“If we play behind closed doors, by the end of the period, clubs would collapse and we would not see good football being played.
“The likes of Germany, England and Spain among other countries, who are playing behind closed doors, have well-thought-out plans for the game. If they play behind closed doors, they have television rights, where people would subscribe and watch for them to get money and pay the players and take care of their bills,” he asserted.
According to him, the COVID-19 safety protocols for football which the clubs in Europe go through before playing behind closed doors, come at a very huge cost and in trying to follow their example, no Ghanaian club can go through half of the protocols to be able to play the game.
“I am sure those calling for the game to be played behind closed doors are not club owners or financiers. Indeed, if they were directly involved in the day-to-day running of football, they would not even dare ask for playing behind closed doors.”
Rev Kofi said even on a normal day when fans were allowed into the stadium, “the clubs do not make anything meaningful from the gates.”
“Apart from the likes of Hearts of Oak, Asante Kotoko, AshantiGold and Medeama SC, the rest of the clubs depend on the gates to cater for their bills and with nothing coming in the form of good proceeds, how would the players be paid?”
BY RAYMOND ACKUMEY