Clubs alone won’t bear cost of matches in empty stadia

Author: Bernard Neequaye
Prof. Peter Twumasi
Prof. Peter Twumasi

The National Sports Authority (NSA) has explained that football clubs will not solely be required to foot an amount of GH¢65,000 required for it to host matches behind closed doors at the state-owned stadia in the country, if organised league matches are to resume following the temporary ban on sporting activities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Director General of the NSA, Prof. Peter Twumasi, clubs would be expected to pay part of the amount with the remaining set to either come from government or sponsorships.

Refuting reports that the NSA had demanded that the clubs pay GH¢65,000 before they would be allowed to play in the stadia, Prof. Twumasi noted that his outfit needed the stated amount to ensure all COVID-19 precautionary measures were observed at the stadia to prevent the spread of the disease.

He said the huge cost of hosting matches behind close doors would include such precautionary protocols as testing of players for coronavirus, providing alcohol-based hand sanitisers, water, soap, tissue paper, electricity, and the maintenance of the social distancing protocols.

 “It is false that we have asked clubs to pay GH¢65,000 to be able to host matches at the various state stadia.”

“What we said was that the NSA would need the said amount in order to successfully host matches during this COVID-19 period. I don’t think this means we expect them to foot all those bills should the league resume,” Prof. Twumasi explained to the Daily Graphic.

“We know it will be difficult for them to raise that amount of money so we are looking at possibly soliciting for funds from government and sponsors to support whatever the clubs pay.”

The Ghana Football Association is in talks with the NSA and other key stakeholders over the possible resumption of organised competitions in the coming weeks.

Among the suggestions being considered when the sport returns is for competitions to take place behind closed doors, which comes at a huge financial cost to the clubs and the NSA as they would not benefit from gate proceeds.