Soccer News of Monday, 31 March 2014
Ghana's audience for the English Premier League (EPL) is acclaimed one of the highest in Africa, which accounts for about 22 per cent of the global audience.
In an interview with the Graphic Sports in the South African capital, Johannesburg, at the Barclays Premier League Live show last Saturday, Richard Scudamore, CEO of the Premier League, disclosed that Africa's audience was the largest group within its global audience and foisted greater obligations on the organisers and sponsors to show their appreciation to Africa.
Last Saturday’s Barclays Premier League programme, which begun with the broadcast of three live games involving Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford, Crystal Palace against Chelsea at Selhurst Park, as well as Arsenal’s clash with Man City at the Emirates Stadium, was, according to Scudamore, a fitting moment to express appreciation and celebrate the continued support of teams in the Barclays Premier League.
Over 24,000 South African fans who are passionate about the English teams, thronged the open park located at the Zoo Lake Sports Club to watch their favourite teams in action.
According to Scudamore, even though Ghana had one of the biggest premiership audience in Africa, unfortunately, there was nothing to show on the ground in terms of cooperation with the English Premier League.
He said over the years, South Africa, Botswana, Kenya and a host of other African countries had benefited immensely from such cooperation which involved the training of coaches and managers of clubs.
"We will be delighted to have any such cooperation with Ghana which is one of our biggest audience in recent times,” he stated.
“Of course, our aim is to make the English Premier League second to the local leagues for our global audience, particularly in Africa”.
The English Premier League boss recounted that since 1994 when Ghana's Tony Yeboah made waves in England with Leeds United and later followed in his trail by Nigeria’s Celestine Babayaro, Austin Okocha, African players have become a strong part of the English Premier League.
Not least, the likes of Michael Essien, Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure and others, who have all contributed in making the English League an attractive brand.