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Ban betting in Premier League

BY: Peter Sarbah
Kingsley Owusu Achau
Kingsley Owusu Achau

Bechem United president, Kingsley Owusu Achau, has prescribed a total ban on betting in the Ghana Premier League (GPL) as the only means of eradicating match-fixing in the top flight.

Mr Achau told Graphic Sports in an exclusive interview yesterday that if the Ghana Football Association (GFA) was serious about stamping out match manipulations in the domestic league, then it should consider making it illegal to use their product for betting.

According to him, manipulation of the outcome of games still persists in Ghana football and the only way to eliminate it is to follow the Sudan example by imposing a ban on the use of the local league by the betting companies for their activities.

“We have not been able to stamp it out so I made a proposal to the effect that even the FA could ban it so that no one can use our product as it is done in Sudan and some other places where you cannot use their league for betting,” he noted.

He explained that it was the surest way of making the league clean by stopping the manipulations, insisting that the FA was the organiser of the league, hence if it wanted to secure it then it should make it punitive enough to deter the betting companies from using it.

“It is our product so we have the right to say that if you are caught using our product for betting you’ll be sued for several millions of dollars. This is not the first of its kind, it is done in Sudan and some other countries.

The FA last season signed a three-year sponsorship deal valued at $6m with betting company, betPawa, making it the headline sponsor of the Premier League. Before that, the GFA had signed on another betting company, Betway, as the development partner of the Women’s Premier League.

There has been a growing concern over match-fixing in the local league in recent times, with accusing fingers being pointed at betting companies for influencing the outcome of matches.

Last season, the GFA demoted Ashantigold to the Division Two league after some of its players and officials were found guilty of manipulating the outcome of their league game against Inter Allies.