Nana Oduro Sarfo explains impact of Football on Ghana's economy; claims GFA's 70,672 is underestimated - Footy Dreams

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Nana Oduro Sarfo explains impact of Football on Ghana’s economy; claims GFA’s 70,672 is underestimated

4 min read

The President of the Ghana Football Association, Kurt ES Okraku earlier this week shared an infographic on social media depicting the strength of the football industry – with regards to the number of footballers directly employed by the football industry in Ghana.

The data presentation showed that over 70,000 footballers are employed at various divisions put together.


But many have raised concerns about the authenticity of the figures released by the Ghana Football Association. Some believe it is a propaganda by the association to paint an untrue picture to the public and government in order to resume football.

Football activities have been put on hold owing to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic since mid-March after the government of Ghana placed a ban on social gatherings. The President, in a recent update eased the restrictions on non-contact games, leaving the GFA disappointed as they have to wait until July 31, 2020 to see if football could come back.

Football enthusiasts have criticized the hierarchy of the Ghana FA of not putting up any proper measures to ensure that football resumes in the West African country. Others are of the opinion that football does not contribute any meaningful value to the country’s GDP.

Due to this, the Ghana Football Association decided to release the data on how the industry directly impacts the economy of Ghana with the number of citizens who survive through the game of football.

Explaining how the GFA arrived at the figures, a member of the Executive Council, Nana Oduro Sarfo disclosed that, the 70,672 was under estimated.


According to him, it could have been over 100,000 if the GFA had considered all factors since many people benefit from the game of football.

“The GFA restricted itself to its own order with regard to registration of players. That is why the number is 70, 672. The number could have been over 100,000. The GFA took into consideration the 30 players mandated to be registered by each club. But the clubs have contracts with over 45 players. After submitting the 30 players, they push the rest to the Youth side and some of them are paid salaries or allowances,” he told Kumasi-based Kessben FM.

“The Club Licensing Board ordered for the establishment of Youth sides. Look at the Kotoko youth side as an example, even if they are not even paid, Kotoko spend on them. Clearly, the number was under estimated. Let us use the 70,000.

He continued: “We should be comparing ourselves to Brazil as we always claim to have same talents. Now football has moved from being a social intervention to business. Look at the VAT Kotoko pay when they play a single game at the Baba Yara Stadium. Kotoko paid GHS 49,000 as VAT when they played against Hearts Of Oak on just one Sunday. Which company pays that amount as VAT in a month, but football pays. It goes on at all the other venues. We pay VAT every Sunday and Wednesday when there are football matches.

The Berekum Chelsea Director also indicated that football is the most affected industry in this COVID-19 era compared to other sectors.


“The ban on social gatherings by the government affected two industries – football and those who sell frozen foods – than any other sector. It is shocking that people rather think the banking sector, airlines, hotels were the most affected industries.

“With the football, apart from the over 70,000 directly employed by the industry, we have others who sell paraphernalia, water, food, drinks during match days but now they cannot go to the various stadiums because there is no football matches. Those who print match-day tickets have also suffered.

He also appealed to the advisors of the government to acknowledge the efforts of the Ghana Football Association in the fight against the novel COVID-19 pandemic.

“Those who write the president’s speech should make mention of football. Pentecost, Catholic Secretariat and other institutions released their facilities to government in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and they were acknowledged. But the Ghana FA donated its facility long time ago but has not been mentioned in about five or six updates that the president has done. They’ve never mentioned the Prampram facility we have given to the Government.

“This means those who advice the government take out football. What I see is, they only talk about the non-contact Sports which is played by rich people which includes them. That’s why they have accepted for its return. Because it is patronized by the elite in the society, they have allowed them to play.


He reiterated that countless of people benefit from football hence the need to return football.

“I once read something about Kotoko defender Wahab Adams that, he has been able to build his house and set up a business for the wife after joining Kotoko. You realize that the footballers extend help to people who were not included in the 70,672. Its a long chain.”

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