Legon Cities Football Club goalkeeper, Fatau Dauda, is pushing for late match day kick offs for some matches in the Ghana Premier League. An interview with TV3’s Juliet Bawuah Dauda, who is returning to the domestic league years after he cut his professional teeth in the competition, says the current weather conditions the country is experiencing do not favour the traditional 3:00 p.m. kick off.
Comparing it to Nigeria where he once played for Enyimba FC, and where matches are mostly honoured from 4:00 p.m. local time, he said the current situation in Ghana leaves players tired even before games start. “One thing that can help… now the sun is too hot; if they can start 4:00 p.m. You start warm up around 2:15 p.m so before you finish you are already tired. If you don’t have a good physical trainer, it is going to take you all sorts of… it is not good for the game,” he said.
A call that has been reiterated severally by persons whose reasons mostly refer to player conditioning and health, it appears to have received some attention from the new Ghana Football Association. The GFA in the lead up to this weekend’s Match Day 1 kick off said it will be adding up to the conventional 3:00 p.m. start times, and incorporate early mornings, late nights and specially-arranged kick off times with its broadcast partners.
“Matches may be played during mornings, mid-afternoons or evenings depending on kick-off times agreed with Television Partners,” the FA says. Dauda, a former Number 1 for the Black Stars, and who also played for AshGold in the Ghana Premier League, may be making his return debut against Liberty Professionals at the Carl Reindolf Park in Dansoman on Sunday. The Ghana Premier League is the country’s top tier club football competition. 18 teams are taking part in what is anticipated to be a comeback worth the wait.
The league is making a return 18 months after it was aborted due to a major corruption expose’ involving referees, team officials, administrators and allied stakeholders as well as President of the Association Kwesi Nyantakyi, who subsequently left his post and banned from football related activities by FIFA. A FIFA Normalization Committee set up by the governing body led to a Congress to elect Kurt Okraku as President of the Ghana Football Association. He has promised sweeping reforms including restoring the integrity of the game.