DRAMA is now becoming a prominent feature of most football meetings that bring the battling stakeholders together.
It was yet another drama time last Wednesday as a gathering that was to launch the 2005 GT Premier League almost turned sour as one of the parties and crucial stakeholders threatened to walk-out of the launch.
The Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA) threatened not to be part of the programme if the beleaguered Ghana Football Association(GFA) chairman, Dr Nyaho Nyaho Tamakloe, attended.
It took 40 minutes of negotiations, nerve-calming meetings and appeals from officials of Ghana Telecom and the Professional League Board (PLB) to make the GHALCA officials, led by their chairman, Joseph Yaw Appiah, to see reason and renege on their threat.
While the negotiations and discussions frantically went on, Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe who had also arrived on time for the programme, and perhaps unaware of what was going on in the hall where the programme was designated to take place, waited in his car unprepared to mingle with the crowd and exchange the normal pleasantries that take place during such functions.
When he was ready, and coincidentally at almost the same time the situation was calmed and guests and officials were seated, the GFA chairman joined in the programme, welcomed by the PLB boss, Mr W. Abra-Appiah, and the Vice-Chairman of the GFA, Mr Kwasi Nyantakyi.
No sooner had the programme ended than Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe left in the same way he had arrived — unaccompanied and unheralded — as if to say “ I was here for the official programme and once that is ended, I have no business to hang around.”
Later in an interview, Mr Appiah said GHALCA had threatened to walk out of the programme as a sign of protest to the GFA chairman's presence.
He said Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe had refused to recognise all the bodies under his own association and administration so there so no need to accord him any respect. “According respect is reciprocal,” he said.
The GHALCA chairman said but for the importance of the programme and the respect that they had for the sponsors, Ghana Telecom, the story would have been different, even though “ we know most people would not think we were taking the right decision by that action, but it would have been for a good reason.”
He further questioned if Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe has only reduced his role to only a ceremonial one, attending events when the media will be there to capture such events.
“ He has by his pronouncements and actions clearly cut himself off. He refused to attend the Executive Council meeting last Tuesday, was not at this morning's Congress, so there was no point in being at this programme,” Mr Appiah explained.
Once the programme took off, there was no hitch as Hon Osei Bonsu Amoah, the Deputy Minister for Education and Sports, launched it, promising Ghana Telecom an opportunity to enjoy a tax rebate that would be commensurate with the money it is doling out to the premier league.
He also hoped that the sponsorship will help make the league more competitive in an environment of healthy rivalry and enjoyable.
Mr Oduro-Nyani, theDeputy Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Telecom, announced the company's commitment to help develop the nation's passion revealing that this year's premiership was being sponsored for ¢4.3 billion — ¢3.1billion representing actual sponsorship and ¢1.2billion for marketing and support.
Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe reteiterated the fact that sponsorship was no charity and that whatever was being invested must be recouped in other benefits. He, therefore, urged the clubs to work hard and keep a positive image for the game and also tasked the officiating officials to live above reproach.
He commended the PLB for their efforts at securing the sponsorship.
Mr Abra-Appiah who chaired the function thanked Ghana Telecom for keeping faith with the Premier League and said they had really lived up to their slogan of linking people everywhere.