The Ghana Premier League has been suspended as the coronavirus grasps the sporting fraternity.
The league was halted during matchday 15 with Aduana Stars currently leading the table.
With more than half of the games left to play, there is still plenty to play for as the table takes shape.
The outbreak of the coronavirus in Ghana has led to many questions concerning how the Ghana Premier League will be affected.
How long is the Ghana Premier League suspended for?
On March 15, 2020, the Ghana Football Association released a statement saying that all football competitions in Ghana had been suspended with immediate effect.
The power, however, is not in the hands of the GFA to decide how long the suspension will be.
The GFA only followed directives given by the president of the Republic to suspend all public gatherings including sporting events.
President Nana Akufo-Addo’s ban on all public gatherings was supposed to end on 29th March 2020 but it doesn’t look likely that the ban will be lifted due to the current development with selected cities in partial lockdown.
The lockdown is supposed to be in place for another two weeks, but a lot will depend on how the spread of the virus will be handled.
The reasoning behind the ban and the partial lockdown is to ensure that the coronavirus does not spread amongst the people of Ghana.
Therefore, it is certain that until the virus is contained, there will be no sporting activities.
Will the Ghana Premier League season be voided?
According to the plan released by the Ghana Football Association, the league was scheduled to end on July 19.
However, with games postponed indefinitely, the deadline looks impossible to attain given the number of games remaining.
Making room for the possibility of the Ghana Premier League season being voided.
Last year, the Normalisation Committee proposed to start the league in November.
The proposal was rejected by Congress with the reason being that the tenure of the committee had almost ended and it will be best if the new GFA carry out the responsibility of starting the new league.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) granted a special dispensation to the GFA to finish the league in July because of the initial normalisation process of Ghana football.
The GFA agreed to a number of midweek fixtures in a bid to finish the season by July so the Ghana Premier League can be in tangent with the CAF calendar.
CAF expects football leagues of all member committees to end in May, after which a three-month break follows, then CAF competitions start in August alongside the various leagues in Africa.
Congress was scheduled to meet at the end of the season and decide the starting date of next season.
With time running out and the impact of Covid-19 building, pressure could mount on the Executive Council to exercise a force majeure and nullify this season in order to allow the Ghana Premier League to synchronise with CAF’s football calendar next season.
What other ways can the Ghana Premier League season end?
The possibility of voiding the football season is low and would most likely be the last resort of the Executive Council.
With Startimes signing a five-year contract with the GFA worth 5.2 million US dollars to be the exclusive Television Rights owner of the Ghana Premier League and the FA Cup, there will be pressure on the GFA to ensure that these matches are played.
Voiding the league season may attract an amendment of the existing contract between Startimes and the GFA and as a result, the latter could lose out on huge money.
Consequently, the Executive Council will try and make a decision which will be mutually beneficial and that could see games played behind closed doors when the spread of the virus truncates.
Such a decision will need the backing of the government but still remains a possibility as the Executive Council will try and find ways to come up with a win-win situation.
Are players and staff of clubs still being paid?
Various European clubs such as Bayern Munich, Dortmund, Juventus, Barcelona, etc have seen their players accept pay-cuts amidst the inactivity in football.
No Ghana Premier League club has publicly stated any plans to reduce player salaries with public relations officer of Asante Kotoko, Kennedy Boakye-Ansah revealing that the management of the club has not considered pay-cuts for its players.
Leaders of FIFA alongside clubs and players met on Thursday to help football adapt to the global crisis.
Due to the paralysing nature of COVID-19, one of the outstanding measures agreed by FIFA requests that footballers take a pay-cut to help clubs survive the crisis.
The proposal by FIFA is expected to be in effect from next week.
What has the Ghana Football Association said?
After releasing the statement to suspend football activities on 15th March 2020, there has been very little activity from the Ghana Football Association.
The last line of the statement read, “the Association will continue to engage the relevant institutions on this matter and update its members and all stakeholders of any changes.”
So far, the only update from the GFA was on 19th March 2020 and it had to do with the GFA closing down its offices until further notice due to Coronavirus concerns.
There is a lot of uncertainty in this period and with no clear conclusion in sight yet, there remain endless possibilities as to how exactly football in Ghana will return after COVID-19.