Easing Restrictions in Ghana amidst COVID-19 without Football is Baffling and Alarming - Footy Dreams

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Easing Restrictions in Ghana amidst COVID-19 without Football is Baffling and Alarming

4 min read

Since COVID-19 arrived in China to Europe, the Americas and to Africa, a number of measures has been taken to bring back life to normalcy, while continuous efforts have been made to maintain the prescribed social distancing protocols prescribed by the World health organization and other local health authorities.

In Ghana, one of the major decisions the Government took in the early days of the pandemic was to suspend sporting activities without recourse to the financial and social implications it was going to have on the actors and consumers of Sports.

The Government was very quick in coming to a conclusion that suspending Sporting activities was a sure way of mitigating the spread of the virus.

6 months down the line, Football and its related activities are all still suspended without justification from the Government through the Sports Ministry, neither has any recommendation come from the Health authorities on the way forward.

Its not a matter of Science and Data as has been Championed by the president neither is it about the Socio-Economic impact analysis.

A Government that has opened virtually all aspect of human endeavors, and allowed ‘Normal’ national activities including political events cannot continue to claim its ‘Decisions are backed by Science and data’.

Even in Europe and China where the Pandemic caused severe havoc, and destroyed families, creating financial loopholes in their affairs, and breaking the Health systems began easing restrictions by allowing Football to resume.

Its baffling that Football, one of the most controlled and well organized social tool is not allowed to resume its activities despite frantic efforts from stakeholders.

What could be the basis, and for a Government that has not seen a single Football season completed under its tenure should be worried about its decision to continuously put the game under ‘Lock and keys’.

The Football stakeholder group may not be the most ‘nousy neighbor’ but their silent should be alarming to the Government.

The Government of Ghana owes it a duty to ensure all institutions flourish no matter the size or its contribution to the National economic development, football organization may not provide that huge numbers in terms of its influence on the National revenue generation, but it has its own constituency that depend on its existence for survival.

The Football Association in show of committment has presented a document that seeks to avoid crowding at their game centres, opting to play in empty Stadiums, an avenue that is going to financially affect the members of the Association, yet the sacrifices seem to have been swept under the carpet by the Government.

Since Football resumed in Europe and China, there has not been any news of an outbreak of the virus, and it has also not been established that the virus is pread through the activities of the Football on the field, it is in this regard that Football authorities all over the world have put in place measures to be undertaken by their members to ensure they observe all the protocols.

CAF issued one of the most comprehensive document to be implemented, and it still beat logic how Government of Ghana has completely ignored those recommendations. The CAF recommendation is even robust than any of the measures put up by the government, yet the president can only assure “Football will be back soon” with no concerted afford by the Government itself.

Cost of testing should not be made the yarstick to which Government will rely on to allow for the resumption of Football, it is an established fact that many of the clubs have demonstrated the desire to test their own players.

At the moment, two of the Premier league clubs have conducted tests for their entire squad, given reason to believe that when given the opportunity many other clubs will also embark on similar activity.

The Government must think about the indirect Job Football creates , if they are not convinced by the 70,000 jobs football creates directly, [per the Ghana FA data.]

If the English Premier league creates over 95,000 indirect jobs out of 12,00 direct jobs, then Ghanaian goverment is under estimating the value of Ghana Football.

The Government must not forget over $11 million came through the participation of the Black Stars in the world cup tournament in 2010, the Local Football may not be your typical revenue generation venture, but the associated social impact cannot be under estimated.

If the president can pull a crowd of over 10,000 at his Regional tours, and the opposition party leader can also pull same crowd and throw all the protocols of COVID-19 to the ‘dogs’ why can’t Football resume in a serene environment with where measures are put in place to control the actors?

The Government is solving one problem by creating more worries to homes and families, The confinement and the interruption of competitions are experienced with difficulty by the actors becuase they are not used to long periods of inactivity and are concerned about the rest of their careers, the absence of Football can create more Unemployment as many of these Footballers are at risk of losing their careers.

The Government must be concerned with the state of Football in Ghana, one of the avenues that can alleviate the unemployment challenges in Ghana, and able to create wealth for all.

The Next presidential update must put aside all factors aside, and announce the lifting of the ban on Contact Sports so as to allow for the Ghana FA to begin their program.

The Football family, having gone through their own ‘COVID-18’ cannot afford to experience another catastrophic disaster in the coming years.

‘Let the games begin’

Credit: Seidu Adamu


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