Great Olympics General Manager Oloboi Commodore is incensed by the extension of Ghana’s ban on contact sports due to the coronavirus disease.
A presidential address to the nation on Sunday said contact sports will continue to be banned until at least July 30, effectively diminishing chances of a possible return for the Ghana Premier League (GPL) which has been on hold since March.
Restrictions on non-contact sports, on the other hand, have been eased, similar to religious and educational organisations.
Ghana sports minister Isaac Kwame Asiamah took to a press briefing on Wednesday to explain the government’s latest decisions.
”State ministers take their girlfriends to Black Stars matches, and now you want to collapse football because of Covid-19?” Commodore quizzed on Happy FM.
“You want to collapse football business in Ghana, meanwhile state ministers benefit most from it.
“Ministers take their girlfriends to vacations whenever Black Stars go to football tournaments, like what happened in Brazil [during the 2014 World Cup].”
“What activity will boost your immune system more than sports if you want to fight Covid-19 or is it this clapping you do in churches or just praying to God?.
“It’s unfair to allow some institutions to work while others are suffering, the minister should come again if he doesn’t know what he’s saying, he shouldn’t say anything.”
The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has made a plea to the Government of Ghana for a possible return of the sport under strict safety protocols such as playing matches behind closed doors.
The proposal was, however, turned down, a situation the sports minister explained at Wednesday’s briefing.
“We have had several engagements on the way forward of our football,” Asiamah said.
“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 these 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 [€9,481.6] 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.”
All football competitions in Ghana came to a halt on March 15 when a ban on public gatherings, including sporting and religious events, came into force on March 15.