The Blind Pass: A Weekly Feature On the Ghana Premier League

The start of the Ghana premier league which had stalled over a legal tussle finally got underway over the weekend. The thirst of many a Ghanaian football fan for local action was quenched as fourteen of the sixteen premier league clubs took to the field to do battle. Liberty Professionals and Aduana Stars were the only teams not to have kicked a ball on the opening day due to the latter’s involvement in the CAF champions league.

Kenichi Yatsuhashi’s Inter Allies were too hot for Bechem United to handle as they hit the one time FA cup winners for 3. Nigerian import Victorien Adebayor was unplayable, bagging a brace after Dan Amanfo had scored the season’s opener on Saturday.

Asante Kotoko bagged their first ever point at the Red Bull Arena as they held West Africa Football Academy in a 1 all stalemate. Aminu Mohammed’s opener for WAFA was cancelled out by Yakubu Mohammed late in the first half.

At the Cape Coast stadium, Amoah Mensah converted from the spot to hand Ebusua Dwarfs the all important victory over visiting Berekum Chelsea.

Two former champions, Ashanti Gold SC and Wa All Stars stood in each other’s way at the Len Clay stadium. However Ashanti Gold SC had the last laugh with a solitary goal through Shafiu Mumuni.

Dreams FC left it late to overcome Elmina Sharks at the Dawu park. A last gasp strike from Zuberu Sharani was the dagger to the hearts of the Sharks entourage who had laboured all afternoon only to leave empty handed.

Kwame Boateng ensured that Medeama SC had the bragging rights in the Western derby as his strike downed newly promoted Karela FC at the T/A park in Tarkwa.

Hearts of Oak led early on through a Winful Cobbinah spot kick but were pegged back by Alex Asamoah’s headed goal in the second half. The veteran striker was the tormentor in chief all afternoon, making sure the spoils were shared between Eleven Wonders and Hearts of Oak at Techiman.

IF ONLY PROACTIVITY COULD USURP OUR REACTIVITY…

For the umpteenth time the start of the Ghanaian season had been in limbo over a very avoidable legal tussle. The end result has been another torturous wait by stakeholders for a ball to be kicked amidst a great deal of uncertainty. Much as the relief was evident as the season kicked started, the time, money and resources lost in this bloom of uncertainty hitherto cannot be swept under the carpet.

In the aftermath of week 1, a communique from the Ghana Football Association’s communications directorate hinted on the implementation of a Match Command Centre. A first of it’s kind in a league in Africa. Among the things this innovation does is allow a swift delivery of match reports by officials to the FA once games are over. Clearly a step to avert discrepancies in match reports, which unequivocally is the underlying cause of the recent legal war which left the league in a balance. Though a step in the right direction, for how long is the Football Association going to act with the benefit of hindsight when a holistic overhaul and frequent review of the statutes could seal all these loopholes.

Why should highly unimpressive outfits on the field be afforded the opportunity and clout to assume the posture of a legally sound machinery just because of our lack of proactivity. Isn’t it outlandish for a football club that has toiled for 90 minutes on the field to win points to lose it in the boardroom for actions that can be punished by imposition of huge fines, that is effectively a potent deterrent? All these ancient practices will only render our football banal if not eschewed.

Another season is underway and the disciplinary issues that comes with Association football won’t go away. Rather an effective handling of these issues borne out of proactivity will save the football fraternity the trauma of having to seek amicable solution of football matters in the court of law.

The Ghana Football Association must be solid and firm without favouritism to win back the trust of stakeholders in their jury system. This could be realized if only the entrenched reactive posture is usurped by proactivity.

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