Premier League Committee chairperson Hillary Boateng sheds light on the consequences of football standing still
Ghana Women’s Premier League Committee chairperson Hillary Boateng has bemoaned the effect of Covid-19 on the women’s game, revealing an unnamed player “has been impregnated” during a recent lockdown restriction in the West African nation.
Football activities ground to a halt since mid-March following a national ban on all public gatherings, including religious and sporting activities, as part of measures to curb the spread of the deadly disease. Ghana’s two biggest cities Accra and Kumasi were under lockdown for three weeks between March 30 and April 20.
The women’s Premier League and FA Cup competitions are among the championships to have been consequently halted.
“I felt so sad when I was told one of my girls has been impregnated during the lockdown period, a player very good and promising, and it’s so worrying,” Boateng told Adom FM.
“I will plead with my female footballers not to allow themselves to be used and dumped.”
Presently, Ghana’s football fraternity is divided on the immediate future of the sport in the country.
While a group wants the 2019-20 season cancelled altogether, another section wants football to return as soon as possible, albeit under strict safety protocols like playing matches behind closed doors.
“Even if we decide to play behind closed doors, how can the women’s league committee raise money for the clubs, especially when players are not allowed to even train on their own?” Boateng quizzed.
The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has said it would wait until at least June 30 to decide the fate of the football season.
“A lot of things should be taken into consideration. Cancellation of the league isn’t an easy decision to make in terms of revenue and letting go of the excitement in the league until next season which will be sometime in September,” Boateng said in an earlier interview on Free FM.
“The women’s league had a very good first round, it was very exciting, looking at the Southern and Northern sectors. It is even difficult to find clubs who will be relegated and who will not. It will be a huge disappointment.
“Therefore if we are asked to hold on on the hype and momentum built until next season, it will mean resuming all [efforts] over again.
“Clubs who have worked hard and are first on their league tables have to start all over again. There will be a lot of disappointing effects on everybody.
“Financially, with the league going on, the branding and awareness were there, social media was hyped very well.
“The FA bought cameras for streaming live matches. There were so many good things that were happening in the women’s league [and] all of a sudden this [Covid-19] situation emerged.
“Therefore cancelling it totally won’t be easy but if it’s the best decision for all of us, we should consider it and prepare for next season.”
Ghana has so far recorded 6,096 cases of coronavirus, involving 31 deaths and 1,773 recoveries.