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14.05.2006 Football News

GFA to wipe out Middle League competition

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Accra, May 13, GNA - The Ghana Football Association (GFA) is considering scraping the Sub and National Middle League as well as play off competitions from its calendar in a bid to make relegation and promotion of clubs into the premiership more flexible and cost effective.

The proposal is expected to be placed before Congress in July, the highest decision making body of the statutes of the GFA.

Mr Jones Abu Alhassan, an Executive Member of the GFA told the GNA Sports that the play offs, Sub and National Middle Leagues have become more expensive and laborious and there is therefore the need to seek other alternatives to lessen the problem.

In the place of the above competitions, Clubs which emerge as winners of each zone in a group will play against each other to determine the overall winner or a form of a criss-cross pairing will be adopted to determine the over-all winner of each group.

He said with this arrangement, the over-all winners of each group will then secure an entry ticket to the premiership.

On the other hand, the three bottom clubs in the premiership would drop straight to the First Division, thus bringing an end to the era of plays offs, sub and national middle leagues.

He said Clubs already with precarious financial situations and who spend fortunes on preparing for such competitions therefore need the introduction of a more flexible system that will ease their problems. According to the GFA member, scraping those competitions will ensure that Clubs that participate in the premiership are evenly spread across the length and breath of the country.

He cited the situation where the Greater Accra Region alone has five Clubs in the 16-club premiership, which he said did not aid the development of soccer in the country.

Mr Abu Alhassan said an even spread of Premier League Clubs in the country will aid the development of football since more talents will be unearthed in every part of the country.

He expressed optimism that the proposal will receive a favourable response from Congress to lead to its final adaptation. The sub and national middle league is a form of a round robin mini league system used in determining Clubs that joins the premiership at the beginning of every soccer season.

The first two Clubs at the end of the Middle League gain automatic entry into the premiership whilst the third placed Club engages in a play off with the third team from the bottom club of the elite league vying for the final slot.