Finances a barrier for football to return – Ghana sports minister

Finances a barrier for football to return – Ghana sports minister

by Graeme Jackson

Thursday Jun 04, 2020. 14:00

Ghana sports minister Isaac Kwame Asiamah has explained that the “huge” cost of bringing football back safely is a major barrier to resuming their season.

All football competitions in the West African country, including the Ghana Premier League (GPL), have been on hold since a ban on public gatherings came into effect in mid-March.

Several leagues in Asia and Europe have resumed or are close to doing so, and there are calls within Ghana for the GPL to follow suit.

The Ghana Football Association has had proposals to bring the game back turned down by government, with Asiamah revealing the kind of financial burden that restarting the league with games behind closed doors will entail.

“We have had several engagements on the way forward for our football,” Asiamah said at a press briefing, as quoted by Goal.

“I charged the director, the NSA [National Sports Authority] boss [Peter Twumasi], to look at even playing it [football] in empty stadiums across the country and the [financial cost] figure he quoted is a huge challenge.

“It’s not only about going to play but putting in place measures to observe all this precautionary measures – how to [safely] keep the players at a hotel and how to also disinfect all the stadiums across the country.

“Not only that, testing is key, we need to test each player. And in our environment is it possible to play football without supporters? It is a major challenge so these are the issues we are considering.

“The figure which came out from the NSA is about GHC60,000 per match, and this is huge. For me, it’s not even about the money; it is about the lives of our footballers, how do we ensure that they are safe at these league centres? So it’s an issue we are still resolving.”

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