The Professional League Board (PLB) in collaboration with the Ghana Football Association (GFA) on Wednesday unveiled the league mascot and logo, and presented the trophy for the OneTouch Premier League which commences on 2nd December, 2007.
The unveiling ceremony, also marking the launching of the OneTouch Premier League, was attended by dignitaries including Hon. O. B. Amoah, Deputy Minister for Education, Science and Sports; Mr Philip Sowah, Chief Executive Officer of OneTouch; and Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi, President of the GFA and his Vice, Fred Pappoe.
In his address, Mr Nyantakyi cautioned all the 16 premier clubs to desist from litigation when the league commences, and he thanked OneTouch for injecting ¢17billion into the upcoming championship.
He said apart from the economic value that the league provides by way of job creation opportunities, the championship has also proven to be an instrument of social integration, since people of all sorts are eager to watch matches regardless of their economic, social, political and religious backgrounds.
He noted that this year's league is expected to be more exciting and more convincing on account of the value of cash that has been injected in the event. He believes that every premier club will get at least ¢600million sponsorship, which should provide an approximately level playing ground for an exciting competition.
He reiterated his thanks to the government for providing magnificent infrastructures for football.
Mr Nyantakyi explained that this year's league will undergo many renovations to enhance the standard, one of which is the publication of the names of the clubs' registered players and a 14-day verification period, during which the eligibility of the players can be challenged. After this period, each player is deemed legitimate.
According to Mr Philip Sowah, the day marked the official announcement of the three years' title sponsorship deal his outfit signed with the GFA and also launched the 2007/2008 OneTouch Premier League. It was a hard time of negotiation but at the end both parties managed to be satisfied with the outcome of the deal, he said.
As a titled sponsor of the premier league, OneTouch shall be entitled to subsidize and benefit from the league, in the media exposure, with their logo showing in post-match interview banners, on the scoreboard and in slow motion playbacks during matches.
The marketing aspect would be accredited to Global Media Alliance (GMA), he pointed out.
Mr O.B. Amoah said the league should provide a platform for clubs to showcase themselves because of the infrastructures the government has put in place in Accra, Sekondi, Kumasi and Tamale, making it time for clubs to do their homework well so they can become more professional.
Mr Welbeck Abra-Appiah, who gathered the media, said everybody involved in football must strive to make the upcoming season a memorable one.
He disclosed that there will be cameras in all match venues and any journalist hoping to cover the events must acquire a jacket and a press tag before he will be allowed into the venue, ensuring tight security at all matches.
By Pierre Toto