Former Sports Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo says the Ghana Premier league has grown unattractive over the years because of corruption within the rank and file of the League management.
Speaking at a forum to launch this year’s national anti-corruption and transparency week in Accra the Senior Minister, who is credited for his role in Ghana’s first World Cup qualification in 2006, recounted his experience with corrupt officials and in the wake of reforms after Ghana FA summit in cape coast last week.
“I have been Minister for Sports before, and it was during my time that Ghana qualified for the World Cup for the first time.
“One of the first things I did was to invite the match officials to my office because the league becomes important when people see fairness.
“You destroy the league of the country when people know that matches are being fixed. Corruption got so deep in football after 2010 that Ghanaians stopped being interested in the local league,” he said.
He also stressed the importance of cleaning up the league system in order to have a positive reflection on the Black Stars.
“Corruption in the officiating of Ghana Premier League matches has had a very negative effect on our football, to the extent that local players hardly feature in the Black Stars call-ups these days.
“That is certainly not the best, as we used to get about half of the Black Stars from the local league, with most of them coming from Hearts, Kotoko, Olympics, Eleven Wise and a few others. And these players were very competitive and conquered Africa.
“These teams also conquered Africa in their own right, but how are our teams doing in Africa these days? The winner of our league cannot even make it through the first round of the CAF competition.
“We must make sure that those who are guilty for these corrupt offenses are found out and punished accordingly.”
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