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Premier clubs agree to play in novelty competition

BY: Peter Sarbah
Dr Kofi Amoah — President of the Normalisation Committee
Dr Kofi Amoah — President of the Normalisation Committee

The Normalisation Committee of the Ghana Football Association has accepted a proposal by premier league clubs to participate in a proposed novelty competition scheduled to start next month.

Last week, the premiership clubs indicated they would not participate in the competition following their disagreement with its format.

The Normalisation Committee had earlier rejected a counter proposal by the elite clubs, following which they issued a statement last Friday indicating their withdrawal from the competition.

However, a consensus was reached yesterday when representatives of the premiership clubs met at the Accra Hearts of Oak secretariat and proposed a new format which will see the 16 topflight sides pooled into northern and southern zones of eight clubs each to play 14 games for each group.

The winners and runners-up of the two groups will advance to the semi-final stage and subsequently to the final where the winner will earn the ticket to represent the country in the CAF Champions League.

The initial format proposed by the Normalisation Committee had 64 teams comprising 48 Division One clubs and the 16 Premiership teams engaging in a two-leg knockout competition with the winners forming the tier one group and the losers forming the tier two group.

Eight groups of four teams each were formed from each tier. While winners of tier one automatically advance to the quarter-final, runners-up were expected to be on standby to play winners of the tier two for a place in the quarter-final.

In a departure from their initial hardline stance, the FA’s caretaker body has accepted and tweaked the new format proposed by the premier league sides which now has a four-team semi-final.

This time, however, the Division One clubs will play a separate competition of six groups of eight teams each.

The first four teams from each of the groups would join four teams each from the northern and southern zones of the premier clubs for the Round of 32 to be played until the final where the winner gets the ticket to play in the CAF Confederation Cup.

A source at yesterday’s meeting by the elite clubs, told the Daily Graphic they have accepted to be part of the competition after the Normalisation Committee accepted to adopt the Premier League clubs’ format.

“The Normalisation Committee agreed to the clubs’ proposal with some slight modification and now the Premier clubs are ready to play in the competition,” the source said.