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13.05.2009 Sports News

GFA, GHALCA Plot To Bring Back The Fans

By Andrew Nortey - newtimesonline.com
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FA President, Kwesi Nyantakyi, has stated that reviving the nation's premier football league is a collective responsibility of every stakeholder and not the GFA alone. Consequently, he has appealed to the stakeholders to come up with sound marketing and managerial strategies to solve fading interest in the local game.

Mr Nyantakyi made the remark at a stakeholders' forum held yesterday at the Ohene Djan Stadium to brainstorm on the dwindling interest in the premier league and the need to find ways of getting the fans back into the stadia.

The meeting which brought together members of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), media, organised supporters group,  the Premier League Board (PLB) and the Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA) whose membership was duly represented.

According to the FA boss, a number of factors including low promotion, hiked gate fees and player-exodus have conspired to rob the league of the excitement it is expected to generate.

On its promotion for instance, Mr Nyantakyi noted that the choice of the local media to focus on European leagues to the detriment of the domestic one has succeeded in arousing the interest of the fans for the “patronage of foreign footbal at every centre which has become a source of worry for all.

“This has been compounded by the choice of the media to spend much time with previews, commentaries and reviews on European matches, especially the English Premiership”, he said.

The FA President opined that the league has to a large extent suffered from a generational challenge where the pluralisation of satellite TV has had adverse effects on the local game.

He, however, stated that clubs or the organisers of the league cannot be faulted for the high gate fees since the clubs are private companies and therefore required to generate their own revenue to support their activities.

On  the issue on player exodus, Mr Nyantakyi pointed out that it is a thorny issue that stakeholders would have to deliberate on and come up with a policy.

But as far as he was concerned, curbing player exodus will be a difficult task to confront as long as clubs are run from private pockets.

All these notwithstanding, he stated that the problem can be overcome when stakeholders put their hands to the plough.

 Chairman of the PLB, Mr Abrah-Appiah called on the media to devote chunk of their airtime and space to promote the local game.

Other speakers at the forum included GHALCA Chairman, Mr Adotey the SWAG president, Mr. Ackah Anthony, Sekondi Eleven Wise CEO, Alhaji Raji and others.

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