May 8, 2021

Inter Allies coach Lokko expresses safety concerns amid Ghana Premier League return talks

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The Eleven-Is-To-One boss is worried about their health as discussions for football’s comeback continue

Inter Allies coach Tony Loko is not convinced about the safety of playing football ahead of a possible resumption of the Ghana Premier League (GPL) in October.

Ghana’s domestic football competitions have been on hold since March when the coronavirus pandemic broke out around the world.

The Football Association (GFA) has set a tentative date in October for the return of the sport, subject to the national government’s approval.

“We are not ready for our football to come back,” Lokko said, as reported by the BBC.

“I have been communicating with my players and they are also scared, Look at the situation we are all scared of the virus.

“The health materials we are supposed to put in place are not ready and that is the fear of everyone at the moment.

“We do not have the necessary facilities to observe the medical precautions that have been laid for regular testing of players and technical teams.”

There is currently a standing ban on all contact sports, including football, in Ghana.

When the suspension is lifted and football returns, the West African nation is looking to follow the likes of Germany, England, Spain and Italy to organise games under tight safety protocols such as playing matches behind closed doors.

The 2019-20 Premier League was at the matchweek 15 stage when it was forced to a temporary halt. After three months of standstill, the GFA completely cancelled the season.

“It has not been easy – football is a source of livelihood for we Ghanaian players and all of a sudden, coronavirus stopped our income,” said Dreams FC player Patrick Arthur.

“Financially, it’s not been okay for us. Being at home for six months has not been easy.

“I understand it may be a challenge for our Ghanaian football to follow the precaution of the European clubs but I am trusting the authorities to put things in place.”

Despite the football ban, Ghana’s national U17 men and women’s sides and the national U20 women’s team have been granted special permission to commence training ahead of major international assignments.

Presently, the nation has recorded 37,812 cases of coronavirus including 3,308 active cases, 191 deaths and 34,313 recoveries and hospital discharges.