The Executive Council of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) together with the premier league clubs, at a meeting held on Monday in Accra, approved a proposal to introduce penalty kicks to determine a winner after every premier league drawn match.
The move is to ensure that Ghanaian footballers are equipped and efficiently trained with the skills for penalty kicks with the aim of getting better in tournaments where penalty shootouts are used to determine which team advances or wins a trophy.
The impact of the unprecedented and seeming bizarre initiative is that, after the penalty kicks, the team that wins the kicks will gain additional 1 point to the initial 1 point secured in the drawn match during regulation time to make it 2 points, while the team that loses the penalty kicks walks away with 1 point gained from the drawn match.
This is only applies to the premier league clubs in the male category without the Division one league and the National Women’s League.
It is however unclear whether this initiative, which starts with the 2019/2020 premier league will continue for the following league seasons.
Ghana has suffered lots of penalty kicks setbacks in major tournaments where national teams have failed to either progress to the next stage of a competition or to lift a trophy. A typical examples are the Africa Cup of Nations where Ghana lost to Ivory Coast twice on penalties in the finals of 1992 in Senegal (11-10 against) and 2015 in Equatorial Guinea (9-8). Ghana also exited the 2019 AFCON in Egypt at the round of 16 stage after losing 5-4 on penalties to Tunisia.
Recently at the CAF U-23 AFCON in Egypt which served as qualification to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, the Black Meteors missed out on the Olympic Games after losing the third place match 6-5 on penalties to South Africa U-23 side, and the nation is in search for solutions to curb this misfortune.
However, the question remains: is penalty kicks after league matches the better solution to Ghana’s penalty conversion failures?