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13.05.2004 Football News

GHALCA call for premier league to be played

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Accra, May 13, GNA -The Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA) has said it is bent on carrying on with this year's novelty league to the letter irrespective of calls from some soccer circles for its abolishment this season.

The association at a meeting with the club Chairmen of the sixteen premier clubs on Wednesday, the members resolved that nothing would stop them from playing the league regardless of the recent call.

Mr Kudjoe Fianoo, Administrative Manager of GHALCA who explained their stance to the GNA Sports, said the meeting attracted a full representation with the exception of Kumasi Asante Kotoko, Sekondi Hasaacas and BA United and it considered many factors before concluding on the resolve.

He explained that the issue of keeping players in shape for both national as well as continental assignments were among the factors they considered.

"The players will automatically become rusty without adequate matches and competitions and that will adversely affect their performances in the national team," he added.

The issue of paying players their wages without working according to him also largely influenced the decision to honour the league despite the time constraints facing the Ghana Football Association (GFA).

The meeting according to him also took into consideration the need to get worthy champions to represent the country in future Confederation of African Football (CAF) competitions as well as the interest of Kinapharma Ghana Limited for investing heavily towards the sponsorship of the premier league.

Mr Fainoo said GHALCA was poised to meet the Professional League Board (PLB) to find ways of introducing more mid-week matches to make up for the time lapse since the season is already three matches behind schedule.

GHALCA has proposed Sunday, May 23 for the seasons' commencement of the zonal league, a date that is expected of the approval of the PLB. "If the current arrangements goes through, we can still finish the league a week before the CAF deadline which will be a plus for us all." Recently some stakeholders from the soccer arena have suggested the need to waive the 2004 soccer season due to the numerous postponement that have bedevilled its organisation.

National coach Mariano Barreto is among that school of thought who have called for the synchronization of the local calendar to that of the European one, a suggestion that they claim will afford the four clubs that compete in future CAF programmes enough time to meet the deadline.

This year's league will be played on zonal basis due to time constraints coupled with a hugely packed international calendar ahead of all the national teams billed to start in June.