With the season’s teasers, the Super Cup and the StarTimes GFA Gala out of the way, football fans are bracing themselves for the season to get into full swing this weekend, when the 2017/2018 season starts with the Ghana Premier League.
On Thursday, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) will hold its Congress to usher in the new season.
Ahead of the big kick-off however, some Premiership clubs seem unprepared and have been slapped with fines from the Disciplinary Committee of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), for failing to meet the timelines set for the club licensing regulations deadline.
Former champions, Wa All Stars, Accra Hearts of Oak, Liberty Professionals, Bechem United and newly promoted Techiman Eleven Wonders, were all fined GH¢1,000 as of January 25, for their failure to comply with the registration requirements and the deadline was extended to January 29, for them to complete the process, failure of which they would be charged an additional GH¢5,000.
Despite the excitement the gala player over the weekend might have generated, there is a sense of belief that the clubs’ inability to complete the registration process was only a reflection of their unpreparedness for the start of the season.
“It looks like the clubs were not able to comply to the timelines because they were unable to get the players they intended to sign.
“Now, it is no longer about big clubs, it is about the ability to pay and the prospects for the players being signed, so if clubs don’t make the move quickly, another will go ahead of them,” a member of the Premier League Board (PLB) told the Graphic Sports.
None of the six clubs fined were prepared to explain why they had not met the timelines. However, a Hearts of Oak official admitted they had to still “chase deals involving some players they intended to sign.”
It is unclear if the clubs avoided further punishment, but with the club licensing team going round for inspection and the GFA Congress set to take place on Thursday, it seems the season, beginning with the Premier League, will kick-off at all cost.
Despite the uncertainty that the inaction of the clubs may have created, the PLB chairman, Ashford Tettey-Oku as allayed any fears and insists the league will kick off as planned this weekend.
“The Premier League will be launched on Monday and definitely, kick off on Saturday. Though there are timelines, the player registration is an on-going process set to end on March 2, so there is no fear, from the organisers point, we are set for the big kick off,” Mr Tettey-Oku told the Graphic Sports.