Editorial

Editorial: AshGold, Inter Allies have really disgraced Ghana

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Editorial

That football is the passion of the nation is not an understatement. Football fans have, on a number of occasions, collapsed not only in Ghana, but beyond the borders of the country, just because the clubs they support with their hearts have lost a match. Indeed, we can vividly recollect the finals of the Confederation of Africa Football club competition played between Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak in 2004.

Before the referee could blow his whistle to bring the second leg of the match to an in Kumasi, fans had already started collapsing in the stands. The paramedics had to do extra work to save these souls from perishing. All these things happened because the club they love so much was losing. This tells a story of how much Ghanaians love football, especially their local clubs.

In 1970s, 80s and early 90s, fans would troop to our stadia hours before the league games commenced. The late comers would always have to climb poles and buildings just to watch the match because they could not get access into the particular stadium. Our local players then were also worshipped as gods because of the love fans had for them.

Unfortunately, all these enthusiasm our football loving fans have for the game starting diminishing in the mid-2000s. Today, Hearts and Kotoko matches are not even attracting the attention of the fans. These two glamorous clubs sometimes play in virtually empty stadium. All these things are happening because the quality of the game has been compromised. To make matters worse, the pitches we play our football on are also in terrible shapes, making football control very difficult for the players.

This, in our view, is also accounting for the low patronage we are experiencing at the various stadia across the country. Yet in the face of all these difficulties, which we are struggling to contain, The Chronicle is surprised that some unscrupulous football administrators have started introducing betting, which can send the game we all love so much into its early grave.

According to the Ghana Football Association (GFA), some officials and players of both AshGold and Tema Inter Allies have been found guilty of fixing a league match the two teams played somewhere in July last year. It is instructive to note that at the time this particular match was played, Inter Allies had already been relegated from the premiership, whilst AshGold had no chance of winning the league. However, because of apparent betting, they decided to compromise the game.

The Chronicle congratulates the GFA officials for the thorough investigations they conducted into the allegation and sanctions they have imposed on both players and team officials who were found culpable. The report they issued on Monday, this week, showed clearly that they took their time to do a meticulous job. Unfortunately, this cannot wash away the disgrace these players and officials have brought upon the nation.

This, in our view, is the reason why the FA officials must wake up from their slumber and start monitoring with eagle eyes some of the league matches, so that the crime will not be repeated in future. Where possible, these officials and players should be handed over to police for prosecution. This will serve as deterrent to others who may be approached in future to compromise the game.

THE CHRONICLE

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