Former GFA veep George Afriyie reveals reason for Premier league low patronage
Under Kurt Okraku led administration, low stadium attendance has become the most talked about issue hindering the growth and development of football in the West African Country.
Despite, many questioning the performance of referees and E-ticketing, astute football administrator George Afriyie believes match-fixing is the main stay of the problems and needs to be resolved. According to him, betting companies do sponsor clubs both in Africa and Europe but the level at which it turns to hamper on the domestic league worsens matters.
Three seasons ago, match manipulation in the Ghana Premier League handcuffed Ashanti Gold SC and Inter Allies in a league game which recorded a 7:0 scoreline in favour of Ashgold.
It was latter revealed, that Ashanti Gold and Inter Allies case was just one of many but authorities went mute on that only to sanction both teams with demotion to lower-tier league including ban on some officials of the teams.
Recently, another match fixing allegation popped up between Aduana Stars FC and Division One League side Bofoakwa Tano in an MTN FA Cup. Prior to the game, it was confirmed scoreline will be 3:2 for Aduana Stars FC and indeed happened but the supporter had his life to run with and had to come out to apologise after several threats on his life.
Afriyie believes these rumours and happenings in the sport are affecting fan patronage.
“Sports betting is affecting our game. It is true that all over the world sports betting is there to the extent that betting companies sponsor clubs. However, we need to protect the product against match-fixing which leads to betting
“This is where the GFA comes in as the regulator of the league,” he said at the Asempa FM Sports Dialogue at the Accra Digital Centers.
“The integrity of the game is very important. If we get rumours about a particular scoreline of a league and this is widely discussed public, if this scoreline eventually comes true then it affects the integrity of the game and nobody will pay money to patronise it,” he added.
Story Kolog Bonaventure