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Enough of the disgrace

You won’t be wrong to liken the battering the Ghana Premier League suffered last week on bribery allegations to the pounding Bastie Samir gave to Bukom Banku in last Saturday night’s non-title fight at the Bokum Boxing Arena in Accra.

Bokum Banku was put through terrible, agonising moments. His mighty fall in round seven of the bout will dominate media discussions but that will not be the only mortifying story the media will be talking about for days if not weeks.  

The humiliation the Ghana Premier League had at Bechem where a so-called broken-down articulator truck prevented GBC/StarTimes television crew from entering the Bechem United venue for the live broadcast of the Bechem United-Great Olympics match day 30 game will also attract attention.

Bechem United officials have stated their innocence but it’s the uninitiated that would accept their explanation – which at best, looks wobbly like the legs of Bukom Banku receiving Bastie Samir’s hot punches. We’ve soiled the reputation of the Ghana Premier League too much this season.

The Bechem incident, for me, was a culmination of the indiscipline, sheer lawlessness and the ridiculously un-deterring punishments meted to clubs which flout regulations on the game. Bechem United can’t convince any right-thinking, honest fan of the league that, they had no hand in Sunday’s disgraceful act.

But why wouldn’t clubs be emboldened to bar the official broadcaster of the league and indeed journalists from covering games that have been pre-scheduled? This season, Aduana Stars did a similar thing during their date with Kotoko and it took nearly two months including threats from Medeama supporters to repeat Aduana’s archaic acts before the disciplinary committee hurriedly acted.

We’ve been primitive in our ways toward the Ghana Premier League. We’ve hurt the image of the competition so badly that, although it’s worrying to observers of the game; it comes as no surprise that companies shy away from putting their money into the league in terms of sponsorships.

Journalists, who are expected to promote the competition are chased away by hooligans with the tacit yet covert approval of club managers, who disappointingly turn around to complain that the league lack sponsors and that they are suffering financially. Who will put his money in a competition riddled by corruption and primitive behaviour?

The 2016/17 Premier League might have ended successfully but there are issues that must seriously engage the attention of all stakeholders. One of those issues, certainly, is the counter-productive attitudes of club managers and their assigns. Enough of the disgrace.

story by jerome otchere

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