Other Sports of Thursday, 25 August 2016
The most prestigious association football club competition in Ghana, the Ghana Premier League, has numerous unfoldings deemed to be influenced by factors, known in local parlance as ‘Ways and Means’.
Despite being in existence, there isn’t tangible evidence to prove this hidden truth.
One of the recurrent questions that comes to mind about the Ghana Premier League (GPL) is; Why is it so easy to predict match outcomes when a season reaches its climax stages?
Which team becomes eventual champions, as well as, which ones get relegated at the end of a campaign, is the easiest prediction any football fan in Ghana can make.
Association football, as known, has three mutually exclusive results. Yet, an established trend in the GPL is that, the outcome of a given game in the penultimate stages of a given season between certain teams at certain venues, is so easy to predict.
Worthy of mention, is the fact that, the prevalence of such situations – predictability of match outcomes – takes away that element of excitement borne out of fans’ ‘anxiety’ over which player gets what, which team wins the ultimate, which teams survive a relegation battle, as well as ,which ones get relegated.
Allegations of match-fixing suddenly emerge but, lack of substantial evidence renders them baseless and irrelevant.
Complaints about and suspicions of match officials by football fans have led to various forms of misconduct, which does not augur well for the development of the game in Ghana.
I ask; Do these assertions have implications on how attractive the GPL is? Or, is this hidden truth making corporate bodies shy away from sponsoring the league?
Again, I ask; has the Premier League Board (PLB) done enough to curb a recurrence of the various instances of ‘ways and means’ that occur when the league is in session? Or, have they been proactive in their respective endeavors to help the league thrive?
Certainly there are manipulations in the GPL so far as match results are concerned but, as to how obvious they are, and what must/can be done to curb it, to earn the league some credibility stripes, most of us would always be probing.
Most recently of bribery allegations was the match between New Edubiase and WA All Stars where it has been alleged that there was an exchange of monies between the two parties,of which has been refuted by both clubs.
The Premier league Board in its’ recent press release stipulated that they have acquired tape recordings of match fixing activities of clubs involved in the GPL, and that further findings could affect the league table.
With few matches to end the 2015/16 GPL season, the ultimate winner of the coveted trophy, as well as, teams that would be relegated can easily be identified.