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Sports News of Thursday, 18 June 2020

Source: goal.com

Coronavirus: Angry GFA releases ‘strong’ statement on League cancellation reports

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has rubbished media reports it has taken a final decision to cancel the 2019-20 football season amid the coronavirus disruptions.

All domestic football competitions, including the Premier League and the FA Cups for both men and women, have been on hold since March following a national ban on public gatherings, including sporting and religious events, as part of measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

With the number of infection cases in the West African country rising, there has been huge uncertainty over the future of the campaign.

“Our attention has been drawn to a publication on ghanasoccernet.com with the headline ‘Ghana FA ExCo unanimously vote to cancel season’. The story informed all stakeholders of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and the public that the Executive Council took a decision to cancel the 2019/20 football season at their meeting on Tuesday, June 16, 2020,” the GFA announced on its official website on Wednesday.

“The GFA wishes to put on record that the said publication on ghanasoccernet.com is false, malicious, and intended to cause injury to the reputation of the GFA.

"The publication is also calculated to deliberately cause confusion and disdain among the members of the Association, sponsors, players, club owners and other stakeholders.

“The GFA wishes state categorically that no such decision was taken by the Executive Council of the GFA and as such the publication should be disregarded and treated with contempt by our stakeholders and the public.

“We are extremely concerned that though the Association has good relationship with the media and ghanasoccernet.com, the website failed to crosscheck the story with the Communications Department of the Association, thereby failing to comply with the ethics of journalism.

"Indeed, there is no prize for fake news in the Code of Ethics of the noble profession.”

The football fraternity has been divided about the way forward for the season. While a section wants the campaign annulled altogether in favour of a new term in August/September, another group want the current season continued whenever it is safe to do so.

The GFA has said it would wait until at least June 30 to take a final decision. Football, though, remains suspended in Ghana until at least July 31.

“The Association has in countless media publications stated and repeated Tuesday, June 30, 2020 as a deadline for its final decision on the season after considering all factors including but not limited to the outcome of the various consultations, discussions and engagements with all our stakeholders, such as clubs, sponsors, and government," the statement added.

“The GFA has also taken notice of other fake and negative publications on the same website, such as the one with the headline, Ghana FA to lose MTN FA Cup sponsorship if the season is cancelled.

“Though we hasten to conclude that there is a deliberate agenda to destroy the efforts of the Association to #BringBackTheLove, the website leaves us with only a little doubt that it wishes to harm the corporate image of the GFA, its members and our proud partners.

“The GFA would continue to open its doors to all media networks, however, the Association would not hesitate to seek legal redress to defend its corporate image when the Association is deliberately and/or recklessly maligned or injured through unverified reportage.


“The GFA expect a retraction of the fake story immediately and an apology to the Association and all our stakeholders forthwith.

“Once again, we wish to assure the public and all stakeholders that the Executive Council of the Association will take a decision on June 30, 2020 after considering all factors on the subject matter, a decision that would be in the best interest of Ghana Football.”

The men’s Premier League, Ghana’s elite domestic competition, was at the matchweek 15 stage when the ban on public gatherings came into force.

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