February 28, 2021

Covid-19: Ghana president Akufo-Addo gives latest update on football resumption plans 

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The head of state touched on football in his 16th Coronavirus Address to the Nation on Sunday 

Ghana president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has revealed a definite way forward for football will soon be announced as the nation continues its phase-by-phase lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

After Ghana confirmed its first case of the deadly disease in March, all sporting activities, among others, were temporarily banned as part of measures to curb the spread of the infection.

Non-contact sports, however, received clearance for resumption in June but contact sports, including football, has still not been granted a reprieve.

”In the next couple of weeks, a decision will also be taken on the resumption of contact sports, including football, taking into consideration the imminent participation of our national teams in international competitions,” Akufo-Addo said in his 16th Covid-19 Address to the Nation on Sunday night, the major highlight being opening of the country’s international airport for regular business activities from September 1.

”As a known lover of football, I know how devastating its absence has been, and it is my hope that very soon we will all have the pleasure of playing and watching the beautiful game again.

”Until then, non-contact sports are the only sporting events permitted to take place.”

Despite the indefinite ban on football, Ghana’s U17 and U20 male and female national teams have been granted permission to resume training.

As part of health and safety protocols for the four teams, all playing and non-playing staff are to undergo coronavirus screening before or at the start of their camping exercises.

To this effect, the U17 and U20 women’s team, who were first to regroup, went through a rigorous testing programme where seven players tested positive.

Owing to the ban on contact sports, the 2019-20 Ghana football season, including the Premier League (GPL), was cancelled halfway through the campaign.

The Football Association (GFA) has revealed plans to start a new football term in October, subject to approval by the Government of Ghana.

The Black Stars are set to resume their 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers with a double-header against Sudan in November, a similar time when the female U17 and U20 teams are billed to continue with their World Cup qualifying matches.