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We’ll soon lift ban on football and other contact sports, Akufo-Addo says

While the ban on non-contact sports has been lifted, football and other contact sports remain suspended in the country since the announcement of the ban in March this year

President Akufo-Addo has hinted that the government could soon lift the ban on football and other contact sports. 

All sporting activities were suspended in March following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Ghana. However, the ban on non-contact sports has since been lifted, allowing for games such as golf and tennis.

For a country that has such a passionate football fan base, many have wondered when it will also be permitted for football activities to resume.

Addressing the nation in his 16th COVID-19 address, President Akufo-Addo said the suspension of football activities will soon be lifted.

Devastating absence

Akufo-Addo, who described himself as a lover of football, admitted that the absence of football for almost six months has been devastating.

He noted it was for the best, however, to ensure that conditions are safe before the government allows sporting activities to resume.

Only non-contact sports are permitted to take place at the moment, despite the easing of restrictions.

“As a known lover of football, I know how devastating its absence has been, and it is my hope that very soon we will all have the pleasure of playing and watching the beautiful game again,” President Akufo-Addo said.

“Until then, non-contact sports are the only sporting events permitted to take place. The beaches, pubs, cinemas and nightclubs are still to remain closed until further notice.”

Plans for next season

Meanwhile, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) is already planning ahead of the 2020/21 football season.

The executive council of the GFA has proposed that the Ghana Premier League starts in October, with a zonal competition being considered.

In case the plan goes ahead, 18 teams will be divided into two groups of eight teams each – covering the southern and northern zones.

The GFA has also proposed that both male and female players will be made to take COVID-19 tests before the season commences.

Henry Asante Twum, head of communications at the GFA, said in July: “A number of scenarios have been considered. Obviously, we cannot play without testing the players.

“The CAF medical team issued a statement sent to all member associations that before football begins, testing has become mandatory. So, testing the players is going to happen for both men and women.”

E A Alanore

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