Ex-Ghana international Osei Kofi fears playing behind closed doors may be unrealistic in the West African country.
The Ghana Premier League (GPL) has been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic. It remains unclear what the plans are regarding the 2019-20 season.
The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has taken a conservative approach thus far and has set a deadline of June 30 to declare the fate of the suspended campaign.
There has been widespread calls for the GPL to be played behind closed doors, as has taken place in Germany’s Bundesliga and Spain’s La Liga.
However, former Asante Kotoko star Kofi believes that the model of playing in empty stadiums will see the collapse of football in Ghana.
“If clubs are allowed to play behind closed doors, by the time football returns the normal way, the teams would collapse,” he told the Ghanaian Times.
He believes if the same approach is adopted his country, teams will not display good football. He also fears the absence of gate takings, a major source of revenue in the Ghana game, means club will struggle financially.
“The likes of Germany, England and Spain among other countries, who are playing behind closed doors, have well-thought-out plans for the game. If they play behind closed doors, they have television rights, where people would subscribe and watch for them to get money and pay the players and take care of their bills.”
Kofi explained that the Covid-19 safety protocols for football which the clubs in Europe go through before playing behind closed doors are expensive and beyond the reach of Ghanaian teams.
“I am sure those calling for the game to be played behind closed doors are not club owners or financiers. Indeed, if they were directly involved in the day-to-day running of football, they would not even dare ask for playing behind closed doors,” he concluded.
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By Mthokozisi Dube