Empty Stadia Anomaly (2)

Editorial Dr Kwaku Ofosu Asare
MAR 18, 2024 LISTEN
Dr Kwaku Ofosu Asare

During the build-up to the African Games, there was a section of Ghanaians who held the view that the government was wasting money on the tournament. They had always cited the country's economic challenges as the reason for their position.

Government itself and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) did not explain the rationale behind the Games and what Ghana stood to gain from the African sports fiesta.

When the Games started on a grand note, the LOC had not marketed the Games well enough to attract the participation of the public from the stands. The attendance has been very poor until last weekend that some Ghanaians started trooping the venues of the Games to cheer on the athletes.

All manner of Ghanaians and others from the sub-region have pitched camp at the various stadia to sell assorted merchandise and thus boost the local economy. However, the LOC has shown that it lacks what it takes to attract the massive attendance from sports lovers across the length and breadth of the country and beyond.

All is not lost, though, especially now that we are now winning medals, to salvage the Games from the poor patronage of the public as if the people are using their money and feet to show their disapproval of the Games. That is not true. The real reasons lies in the poor marketing of the Games.

Dr. Kwaku Ofosu Asare, Chairman of the LOC organised a very poor tournament. We are a sports loving people and our passion for sports must reflect in the organising of the best Games for far.

A few times that we read stories about the Games on social media, these had to do with the fact that Ghana has won no medal at the Games. Now that Ghana has garnered a few medals, there is blackout on social media.

We ask the LOC, especially its Publicity Committee, to salvage the abysmal publicity about the Games. Media people should not only articulate their rights to hold duty bearers to account, but they should also show their capabilities when offered the opportunity to serve.

Incidentally, the Chairman of the LOC and the head of the Publicity Committee are media people who are not expected to fail in delighting the people about the Games.

If for any reasons, the media find the Games hard sell on their platforms, what about the social media handles of the LOC? Dr. Ofosu Asare and Dan Kwaku Yeboah cannot claim to be born before computer but do well to scale up publicity about the Games.

The LOC has about ten days to the end of the Games, and this offers an opportunity for them to redeem the poor patronage of the events. They should be able to publish the timetable for the rest of the events, especially soccer and the field activities which are likely to draw some crowds.

So far not so good, and the LOC owes it to the tax payer to make the African Games in Accra a resounding success not because the events were held, but more importantly Ghanaians turned in their numbers to cheer on the athletes.

The President of the Republic deposed his confidence in the LOC, and Dr. Ofosu Asare and his team know this charge. Therefore, the LOC should not give the opportunity to the government’s detractors to describe the investment in the Games as “Akufo-Addo’s waste of the public purse.”

For if the LOC had mobilised the media to help it to tell the story about the Games, some sports lovers would have made it to the event venues to catch a glimpse of the long distance runners from Ethiopia, Kenya, Eritrea and lately Algeria that they see on television during global athletics meet as well as the Africans who compete in the 100, 200 and 400 metres sprints. Through the failure of the LOC, Ghanaians are missing this golden opportunity.

Now is the hour to reverse the empty stadia spectacle.

Source: Daily Guide