The Executive Council (EXCO) of the Ghana Football Association at its meeting on Tuesday May 5, 2020, artfully declared the 2019/2020 Ghana Premier League (GPL) season ‘cancelled’ after extending its suspension to two more months following the ban on all public gatherings by the state due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 2019/2020 football season has since March 16, 2020, been suspended indefinitely following government’s ban on all public gatherings and sporting activities in the country due to the aforementioned reason.
The EXCO, a body with the sole power to declare official GFA sanctioned competitions nullified according to the new GFA Regulations, decided at Tuesday’s meeting, that the current status quo (the suspension of the league) remains till it is done with all ongoing engagements with the powers that be to arrive at a final decision on the fate of the season.
“The Executive Council at its meeting on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 decided that the status quo remains, stating that the Association is in various engagements with Government, the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the GFA Medical Committee, CAF and FIFA”, a statement on the FA site read.
While acknowledging, that the decision to declare all football activities, and for that matter the premier league for the current campaign null and void extends beyond the remit of the GFA, it is worthy to note, that the time frame within which the FA looks to take a stock on the fate of the league, by inference, paints a picture of devious declaration of the league nullified. According to the Executive Council, discussions on the fate of the league will be revisited by June 30, 2020, meanwhile, the entire season was earlier scheduled to end in July.
“The Executive Council further decided that the Association will continue to monitor the situation and would revisit it on June 30, 2020 after a careful assessment and evaluation of the issue and to take further decisions”, the statement stated.
It is imperative to note however, that before its COVID-19 enforced suspension in March, only Match Week 14 out of a total of 34 Match Weeks of the GPL were fully played, with two matches of week 15 (Inter Allies vs Asante Kotoko, King Faisal vs Accra Hearts of Oak) to complete the week’s fixtures. The FA Cup on the other hand, would have to be continued from round of 32 through to the final before a champion can be declared. With the European calendar set for a round up latest by June to early July, and Ghana in a bid to synchronize her football calendar with that of Europe, time will not permit Ghana to continue the current league campaign and the FA Cup to a full, successful and smooth completion before serving CAF with the list of Ghana’s representations for the 2020/2021 CAF inter club competitions.
One would therefore not be begrudged to conclude that the GFA is coy on the official nullification of the suspended league, but employed an artful way of announcing the seeming yet-to-be made official decision to cancel the league in parables.