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Sports News of Tuesday, 26 May 2020


‘Coronavirus pandemic, blessing in disguise’ - George Afriyie

George Afriyie George Afriyie

Owner of Division One League (DOL) club, Planners Athletic Club (formerly known as Okyeman Planners), Mr George Afriyie, has said the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and government must think about ways to make the sport more viable after COVID-19.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic which has halted football for sometime was a blessing in disguise as it offered the opportunity for stakeholders to rethink ways to improve football.

“Most DOL clubs play in an almost empty stadium and unable to generate funds from the gates. In the next two years, no club can raise funds through player sale due to the inactiveness,” he stated.

He explained that in the DOL, about GH¢4,000 to GH¢5,000 was spent on each match day with zero revenue for about 40 out of the 48 matches across the country.

“These are challenges that must be addressed before the resumption of the league. We need to make football more attractive and viable across board,” he added.

The Planners Athletic boss observed that it was difficult to get sponsors for the league prior to COVID-19 as the football economy was not attractive and strong enough.

He said it was important to use the big clubs like Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak as cash cows to get sponsorships for other clubs.

“We need to leverage on merchandising other aspects to get revenue for clubs after COVID-19. There is currently nothing to write home about with regard to revenue at the Division One level,” he stressed.

“COVID-19 has presented us an opportunity to do things better. It is time to amend certain ambiguities in the statutes to better our football and use the opportunity to divide congress into zones and find a better way to manage our football post COVID-19.

Congress, he continued, should immediately meet and decide whether to restart the league or truncate it completely for a fresh start.

Though it would be difficult to replicate what Germany has done with football, he said, Ghana could learn and work out something that would benefit the entire football fraternity.