On 6th June, 2018, Investigative Journalist Anas Aremayaw Anas, brought an expose that showed several members of the Football Association and referees allegedly collecting bribes on tape. Your Government in your own wisdom, was compelled to suspend all activities of the Ghana Football Association as well as barring it’s officials from undertaking any duty at the Football Association to enable further investigation into the matter.
On Saturday 23rd June, 2018, on News File, a political show hosted by Joy FM, I listened to the Deputy Attorney General, Mr. Godfred Odame Yeboah, who gave an account of the successful meeting the Government of Ghana and FIFA delegation led by the Director of FIFAÂ Africa and Caribbean Veron Mosengo-Omba. He brought to light, FIFA in consultation with your government what was discussed and how both parties, will put in place, interim measuresÂ to allow for the continuation of football in Ghana. In addition, he reinstatedÂ that the Government of Ghana will send a delegation which will continue discussions with FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland for the purpose of finalising interim arrangements regarding football.
The latest meetings has brought a bit of relief to me as a local based footballer in Ghana and my colleaguesÂ but still not satisfied. In his assertion, The Deputy Attorney General didÂ not state the exact month or day which this meeting was going to take place in Zurich. This means that, the local based footballer in Ghana is still in a limboÂ as to what lies ahead of him choosing football as his career.Â Earlier statement made by the PRO for the Ministry of Youth and Sports, explainedÂ that FIFA will not ban Ghana, at least gave us an assurance and hopeÂ that, we will still be taking our small salaries, from our club owners, which is not even consistent in time very soon.
Your Excellency, the local based footballerÂ in Ghana goes through a lot challenges and frustrations as he plays a big role in selling Ghana football to the rest of theÂ world from his homeland. The Professional Footballers Association of Ghana, led by Tony Baffoe and his team, are doing everything possible to make sure local based footballers feel a bit comfortable as they follow their dreams and passion. They have outlined plans and it implementation, as they help to fight for the right of the local based footballer in manners related to the sports both in the country and in the outside league as well. I saw the joy in your face, when you received the WAFU cup which was played by our gallant local based footballers in Ghana where Ghana hosted and won it as well. This shows how focused we are us players in the local leagueÂ and with a little support,we can bringÂ back lost glories the country has lost.
The following are challenges local based footballers go through :
a.Â Majority of the football clubs do not pay us our salaries when the league is in recession.
b. In most clubs, so many players are registered and this leads to some players been paid and others are not been paid at the end of every month which is not even consistent.
c. Prolong delay of salaries to us players, which frustrates our work. Most footballers are married with family therefore affecting their up keep and family life.
d. Signing on fees are never paid in full to local based players. Players end up dragging issues with clubs at the Player Status Committee before they get their monies.
e. Issues and the way club treat us aboutÂ our finances,makes us ready to leave the shores of Ghana where we can be paid well and get a foundation for our unknown future.
Your Excellency, I want to suggest to you the following as aÂ lead to make football in Ghana successful for local based players:
a. There my must be bye laws and it must be implemented, on the subject of payment of salaries and signing on fees of local based footballers in their respective clubs. There should be sanctions as well to clubs who don’t follow the directive.
b. Strict laws should be enforced on SSSNIT contributions of players by the clubs. They should be a smooth channel of continuation even in the events the player leaves team A to team B in the same league or signs a team outside Ghana. With this, the player can rely on it one day when he retires from the game.
c. Symposiums, workshops and lectures should be organised for club owners so they can get more updates and reforms of how the local based player can be managed well for them to give out everything as they play their roles as footballers.
d.IÂ honestly plead, if you can make the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Sports collaborate as well as the Football Association, so there can be an introduction of certificate programs, relating to sports in our public universities scattered around the country. These local basedÂ players can understudy courses like Sports Psychology, Physiotherapy, Sports Science, Sports Management etc when the league is on recess. This will give a mirror of life to us, as we can get a future one day when we retire from football. At least all footballers cannotÂ become coaches and with this, it will serve as an avenue for them to explore their field of interest.
I pray that the the welfare and the future of the local based footballer in Ghana will be considered as a priority, as your government takes steps to help restore the lost glories of the game in Ghana. May the Lord bless us all and make Ghana great and strong.
By: Abel Manomey (Player and student)