President of the Ghana Football Association Kurt Okraku is urging calm among clubs as the body battles with the devastating impact of coronavirus on the sport locally.
Football activity in Ghana has been rocked by the outbreak of the pandemic and with social gatherings banned until at least end of May in Ghana, the wait for the various leagues including the Ghana Premier League to resume is taking longer than usual.
The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has given itself up to the end of June to be clear on what to do with the league and its president is clear a decision is not closer yet.
“As we speak, there’s no decision as to whether the Ghana Premier League would be canceled or not,” he told a discussion organised by Accra-based Happy FM via Zoom on the impact of Covid-19 on the sports industry.
“We are still in talks.
“If we are to cancel the league, it will be another trying period for players, clubs, referees and everybody involved in football.”
A cancellation will almost certainly mean loss of sponsorship revenue from TV and other sources and gate proceeds.
“I don’t have the exact figures as to how much revenue clubs will lose if the league is canceled. But you don’t expect sponsors to continue sponsoring when there are no football activities.”
The financial challenges mean the issue of player salaries, already a sensitive subject, has come up
“I share in the pain of club owners at this point in time. Throughout the world when issues like this comes up, the issue of salary comes up. FIFA has spoken about the issue.
“They don’t want us to touch the salaries of footballers but it is something that has come to our attention but we would like to respect the decision of FIFA.”
The GFA’s main strategy at this stage, it seems, is to wait out the crises while putting its medical team to work on the protocols they have to deal with should football return.
“At the last Exco meeting, we gave ourselves up till the end of June to make a decision. We are considering all scenarios, in our engagements with stakeholders. Our medical team led by Dr. Adam Baba is working very hard to come up with a document for us to consider,” the GFA president reiterated.
“I want to call for calm. We shall take a decision in the interest of everybody. We will communicate our decision if we decide to either cancel or truncate the season.”
In the meantime, FIFA remains the GFA’s main hopes of financial salvation.
“We are also waiting for FIFA to fast track the process and get us the Emergency COVID-19 fund,” Okraku added.