Sports News of Friday, 27 March 2020
Eleven Wonders coach Ignatius Osei-Fosu is advocating for the abrogation of the 2019-20 Ghana Premier League should its coronavirus-induced suspension persist beyond one month.
The top-flight is in the second week of a forced break following a government directive banning on all public gatherings including sporting events as part of measures to curb the spread of the disease.
The pandemic, also known as Covid-19, has so far infected over 510,644 worldwide and claimed 23,028 lives.
“I’m a fan of a proper calendar. If we’re going to have a prolonged suspension, it may be better to abrogate the current season and start afresh to synchronise with all the other leagues in the world to allow proper transitions and transfers,” Osei-Fosu told Goal on Thursday.
“We should not rush the league back because human lives are much more important than our work which is entertainment. Calling off the league will also be a blessing in disguise for me to get a grip on my team. Even if the league is to resume in two weeks time, it’s unlikely we can play games immediately because it will take us another two weeks to prepare to play games.
“At where we are now, it will be very difficult to just regroup and head straight into games. We may even go another month before the suspension is lifted and the more the players stay in the house, the more training we will need to get the players’ physical level back up for matches because you don’t want to risk players for injury. They have their careers on the line. We may be getting to a point where we will need another pre-season. Or else we will have a form of pre-season, play about 17 games and go for another pre-season for the next full season.
“I think what the GFA should do now is to come up with a clear guideline in anticipation of what could happen in each case’s scenario, so clubs will be clear on how to deal with the situation in advance. But for me, I’m for the abrogation of the league if the suspension extends beyond one month.”
It has been a topsy-turvy season for Wonders who currently occupy 12th position, four points above the relegation zone but six points adrift of third-placed Asante Kotoko.
“Looking at the dynamics and our position in relation to our position from the top four, we are at a place where only two matches can push us into the top four. We are one of the teams that have shown our worth and picked a lot of away points. It is easier for me to get into the top four than to get into the relegation zone.
“We next play Hearts of Oak who are only two points above us and Liberty Professionals who are below us. In essence, all the teams below us are also relegation-threatened. So it is not a situation that I’m making that suggestion because we are not doing well.
“When the league went on suspension, we were still training and many people were trooping to watch us which is not safe at this time. So for me, it is about the lives of our players too. It’s about humanity and the safety of all. Not about relegation or not.”
The coach, who was previously in charge of Liberty Professionals, also spoke about their ultimate goal for the season.
“Our objective is to finish among the top four. It is highly possible. When you look at the club on top of the table, Aduana Stars, they are just nine points away from us which could take only three matches to catch up.
“When you look at the points build-up, you will see everything is possible. If we are able to strengthen our team in some positions, we can be among the top four. For us, the top four is the least we want to achieve.”
Ghana has so far recorded 132 cases of the coronavirus involving three deaths.
The West African nation is considering a lockdown, according to President Nana Akufo-Addo, a situation which could ultimately extend the suspension of the Premier League.
Many nations around the world have suspended their national leagues in the fight against Covid-19.
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