January 22, 2021

Opoku: How India’s second division is better than Ghana Premier League 

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The midfielder talks about his choice of football in the Asian nation over that of his home country

Indian-based midfielder William Opoku has shed light on reasons for Ghanaians’ preference for football in the Asian country to plying their trade at home in the Ghana Premier League (GPL).

Earlier this week, Ghanaian footballers in India sent out a video on social media calling on the Government of Ghana for prompt evacuation owing to living difficulties emanating from the coronavirus disease.

The distress call follows similar moves by Ghanaian footballers in different parts of the world including Ethiopia, DR Congo and Botswana.

“The good thing about India is that there are these indoor pitches that you can play 15 minutes a game and earn a $100 [€84] and if you are a big player, you can receive $300 [€253] for just 15 minutes,” Opoku, who plays for Indian second-tier side Bhawanipore, told Asempa FM. He was on the books of Ghanaian second division outfit Okyeman Planners before leaving for India in 2017.

“So if you play four games, you make some good money and there are players who do not have clubs who engage in some of these games to make money.

“But because of the coronavirus, all these games have stopped and the monies saved by these boys have been spent. And if you don’t have a club, it means you are doomed.

“If you even get a second division club here, you can make some better money than in the Ghana Premier League.

“You can get as much as GHC 10,000 [€1,458] a month playing for a lower-tier side. [It] sits better than the GPL.”

In June, a group of 22 stranded Ghanaian footballers in Ethiopia put out a social media video, pleading with the Government of Ghana to come to their aid amid claims of failing in their bid to obtain help from the Ghanaian consulate in Addis Ababa.

In the footage recorded outside the embassy were Ghana international Lee Addy, who played at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and former Asante Kotoko goalkeeper Mohammed Muntari Tagoe, who won two Ghana FA Cup titles with Medeama.

After the video went viral on social media, the Government of Ghana and the Ghana Football Association (GFA) responded as they pooled resources together to evacuate the footballers.

Upon their return to Ghana, the contingent went through a 14-day mandatory quarantine as part of the Covid-19 safety protocols.