The Ghana premier League resumes across all league centers on Sunday after a break which saw players moving across the teams and clubs strategising ahead of the second round of matches .
However, there were some positives and negatives as well as the first round came to a close. This piece attempts to bring these sides under the microscope:
1. The “talented ” premier league .
Some have argued that with the mass exodus of players from the country the talents in the league are nearing extinction . Well, that may not be entirely true as the first round of fixtures revealed that the league still has a lot to show whenever there is a talent hunt.
From Liberty’s Latif Blessing to Gockel Ahotor of Inter Allies to WAFA’S Samuel Tetteh ( now of Red Bull Salzberg) the league still has a lot to show in terms of talents .
Only 2 points separates teams in the top 5 teams on the league log . Medeama who are 5th have 26 points (same points with second placed Aduana Stars ) while league leaders Wa All stars have 28 .
New Edubiase who are last on the log (16th ) with a paltry 12 points are separated by 4 points from defended champions AshantiGold who have 16 .
This shows how competitive the league has been over the first round . League leaders Wa All stars have won just half of their games and it’s hoped that this competitive nature will continue to prevent cases of match fixing
This first round of matches saw a spark in the eyes of fans who thronged the match venues
Whether it was Hearts of oak coming from a two nil deficit to winning that match against Inter Allies by three goals to two and doing so when the referee was looking to blast his whistle for the end of the game or it was Techiman City walloping league leaders Wa All stars in Techiman by three goals to one and keeping their unbeaten home run the matches always provided some level of excitement for teeming fans who embraced the league .
The first round of games saw some encouraging attendance to match venues . Techiman City saw their venue filled almost always whenever their team played at home. In a match of Ebusua Dwarfs and Hearts of Oak at the Robert Mensah Stadium for instance some spectators could not even had a chance to enter the stadium 15 minutes to the start of the game as the stadium was full to capacity. Accra Hearts of Oak had an upsurge in spectators who tropped in to watch their games with even a record the highest ever gate fee proceeds against rivals Asante Kotoko and on a Monday!
Teams playing this year’s league have no sponsorship and thus feed on the main sponsorship of the league. Sadly after the first round the league is still without a sponsor after First Capital plus bank(now Capital Bank) withdrew it’s sponsorship. Nothing has also been heard about the previous Glo sponsorship deal which was also abrogated and teams hoped to get some compensation .
The FA hopes to resolve this unpleasant situation as soon as possible . As to when , no idea
The famous saying that Coaches are hired to be fired was seen in the league with some resigning .
Aduana’s coach Nurudeen Amdadu was the first to leave post (willlingly) after just two fixtures . David Duncan of Kotoko was asked to “step aside” as coach (apology for that has been rendered and a severance package agreed) whiles Ebusua Dwarfs sacked coach J.E. Sarpong after some poor run of matches even though he led them from the Division On e league. Inter Allies also had to let go of experienced Herbert Addo for similar reasons . Tom Strand who had been in the news previously for a poaching attempt by Kotoko left the team when they traveled for a continental clash and was never to be seen again because of perceived interferences from some technical men in the team. John Kila leaves WAFA as he landed a job elsewhere after 6 years with the club . Kenichi Yatsuhashi leaves Hearts of Oak on mutual grounds as he was to be away for some matches which management did not agree to.
Bechem united were not left out as Erradi Adil was fired just two weeks after his services was engaged .
Will there be more casualties in the second round ?
When the FA monitoring team claims to use the CAF standards to assess pitches in the country and passes Tarkwa TNA park for the league but CAF rendered it unusable to be used in CAF competitions it leaved much to be desired. Most pitches are not good in the country for playing and something must be done about this menace .
In as much as it has improved , there’s still more room for improvement. There have been bans for some referees as a result of some poor decisions .
Popular referee William Agbovi for instance has been asked to stay off the touch lines for 8 matches for some decisions he did not take. Timely release of monies due these officials will go a long way to prevent some of these occurrence.
Hearts of Oak were made to play some matches behind close doors as a result of the action of some fans when they locked on horns with Wa All Stars at home , a match they lost.
In all the first round of the premier League was good and the second round of the league should be better.