Mohammed Shaban
Mohammed Shaban

Meet Ghanaian journalist spearheading revival of GPL with data

Football holds a universal appeal, captivating enthusiasts around the globe. Within the Ghana Premier League (GPL), the passion for the game runs deep, engaging fans of all ages. Iconic clubs such as Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko dominate the local scene, boasting loyal supporters drawn to their rich history and success across Africa.


However, a recent decline in GPL's popularity cast a shadow over its once-vibrant allure. One contributing factor to this downturn was the proliferation of foreign leagues on Ghanaian TV screens.

Undeterred by this setback, Mohammed Shaban, a young and enterprising journalist, serving as a TV sports presenter with the Atinka Media Village while a student at the Ghana Institute of Journalism, embarked on a solitary mission to reignite interest in the ailing league.

Renowned for his precise reporting and professional demeanour, he earned the moniker 'Ghana's Fabrizio Romano' after the famous Italian sports journalist reputed for deep insights into the European football's transfer market.

Mohammed's ability to dissect GPL with statistical precision led to the title of 'GPL Statistician', recognised for his adeptness in breaking news, crafting compelling narratives about the league and weaving in statistical insights.

On November 2, 2021, he unveiled his magnum opus, the 'Ghana Premier League Book', a milestone event graced by dignitaries including the President of the Ghana Football Association, Kurt Simeon-Okraku.

Colleagues from the sports fraternity rallied behind him, lauding his significant contribution to the development of Ghanaian football. At the launch, Okraku commended Shaban Mohammed's dedication and urged him, alongside other young journalists, to continue fostering the growth of local football.

Beyond the book launch, the young journalist has promoted the league through regular updates on statistics, encompassing top scorers, assist charts, goalkeeper data, referees' performance metrics and player ratings. His meticulous data curation has been instrumental, earning him the distinction of being the first journalist to compile comprehensive statistics on the GPL.

In an era where data reigns supreme, its significance in football's evolution cannot be overstated. Statistics not only provide fodder for media narratives but also offer nuanced insights into matches and player performances.

For instance, Mohammed's analysis of Hearts of Oak's Kofi Kordzi shed light on the striker's impact, revealing that the team remains undefeated in matches where he scores.

Moreover, his data revealed intriguing trends such as Hearts consistently netting at least two goals in home fixtures last season.

Delving deeper, Mohammed's data spotlighted officiating officials, unveiling that two referees oversaw the majority of GPL matches last season.

Statistics put together by the data journalist also revealed Hearts of Oak scored at least two goals at home in the GPL last season, interesting right?

Aside from gathering data on players and clubs, he also provides accurate data on officiating officials in the league. It will strike you to know that data collected last season indicated that two referees officiated most games in the competition.

As a staunch advocate for Ghanaian football, Mohammed leverages data and accurate statistics to champion the country's premier male football competition in unprecedented ways.

In 2022, he made history by becoming the GFA's first official statistician, a role in which he has since elevated statistical analysis across various leagues and competitions, including the Access Bank Division One League, Women's Premier League, MTN FA Cup, Women's FA Cup and information on the national teams.

To him, seeing Ghana's football gain world popularity would be his greatest achievement as a sports journalist.

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