Ghana is making a historic return to league football on Sunday, December 29 when the Ghana Premier League 2019-2020 season kicks off at nine centres to usher in a reborn national passion.
The matches to kick off simultaneously at 3pm at all the centres mark a long-awaited yet bold return to regrow the local game that for years remained the passion of the nation until corruption exposures scuppered appetites.
As the Kurt Edwin Simeon-Okraku-led GFA administration attempts to lead the redemption onslaught, all eyes will be on particularly two key inputs of association football – officiating and fan comfort, vis a vis safety and security.
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How as a nation we came to agree that match security will best be catered for in the hands of Home Teams beats the imagination. So disgusting can it get that violent elements within support bases of some home teams can brazenly bar specific opposing fans from attending matches. A better option lies in leaving security matters in the hands of the security agencies.
For so long we have had Premier League Centres without seats for majority of paying fans. You do the match duration on your feet.
Then there is almighty officiating, and how the new leaders will deal effectively with poor performances and allegations of corruption in the game. Effects of the Anas-led corruption investigations have left the local game rather fragile, and no one should be spared who seeks to deliver a final blow. Officiating officials, club administrators, players, fans and all who break the rules or foul the laws must be made to face the music and promptly too.
And it appears expectations of teams and individual players should be measured – with the long stay away from competitive games, action and excitement may be slow in building up.
Below are the fixtures for Matchday 1 of the 2019-2020 GPL football season
|1||Hearts of Oak SC vs Berekum Chelsea FC||Accra Sports Stadium|| |
|2||Aduana Stars FC vs Inter Allies FC||Nana Agyeman Badu Park|| |
|3||Asante Kotoko SC vs Eleven Wonders FC||Baba Yara Sports Stadium, Kumasi|| |
|4||Ashantigold SC vs Great Olympics FC||Len Clay Stadium, Obuasi|| |
|5||Bechem United FC vs Elmina Sharks FC||Nana Fosu Gyeabour Park, Bechem|| |
|6||Dreams FC vs King Faisal FC||Dawu Park|| |
|7||Ebusua Dwarfs FC vs Medeama SC||Cape Coast Stadium|| |
|8||Karela United FC vs WAFA||Akoon Park, Tarkwa|| |
|9||Liberty Prof FC vs Wa All Stars FC||Carl Reindorf Park, Dansoman|| |