Let’s allow the fans!

Before the commencement of the 2020/21 Ghana Premier League (GPL) season, the government made an assurance to the Ghana Football Association (GFA) that only 25 per cent of fans to a stadium’s capacity will be allowed to see the game.

It may not have gone down well with the fans, but in the midst of the raging COVID-19 pandemic, many agreed that it was the most sagacious and level-headed action to take.  Indeed, lives must be saved!

Sadly, a communique from the sector Ministry popped up later to inverse its own decision, directing the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to ensure that the games were played at empty stadia. It was a disappointing development and it came hitting the fan like a hypodermic bullet.

What is gratifying is that the GFA and the National Sports Authority (NSA) have put in place the necessary COVID-19 safety measures at the stadia and even journalists who come to cover the games are made to go through the protocols.

For instance, there is adequate spacing at the press box with journalists putting on their nose masks and observing all other protocols including washing and sanitising of hands.

If the authorities are not ready to permit only 25 per cent capacity of fans in a stadium (who will be made to go through the safety protocols anyway), and yet would freely allow tens of thousands of fanatics (with utter disregard for the protocols), to follow them at their political rallies, then what kind of people are we?

Do we have any justification for the political rallies? If yes, what prevents the football populace from gathering to watch a game which has all the COVID-19 safety protocols in place? What kind of double standards is this?

Evidently, we are not serious in the fight against the spread of the pandemic. And, it is amazing how our authorities would seize the slightest opportunity to try and educate the youth to be wary against the virus when they themselves are helping in its spread!

Sheer hypocrisy, not so? Indeed, we should be ashamed of ourselves with what is happening now!

Even in the western countries where the pandemic has claimed thousands of lives, their football authorities are permitting a sizable number of fans to the stadium.  Let us be real and honest to ourselves and get the fans back.

Football is nothing without fans.

PlainTalk with JOHN VIGAH

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