Gov't Should Not Be Pushed To Return Football - J E Sarpong

The Technical Advisor of Tema-based Seedorf Academy and Sports Agency, J.E. Sarpong, has implored stakeholders of Ghana football to remain calm as the government initiates measures to speed up the return of football activities in the country.

Expressing concern about the yearning of some stakeholders to see the return of football in Ghana amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Coach Sarpong said it was important for the government to put stringent measures in place before giving the green light for football activities to return.

“I am certain that the government is in constant consultation with the FA to plan towards the return of football activities in Ghana, hence the need for all stakeholders to strictly abide by the COVID-19 safety protocols to speed up the process of normalising football activities in Ghana,” Coach Sarpong noted during an interview with Graphic Sports Online.

Responding to a question on when he wanted football activities to return, Coach Sarpong said: “Honestly, I don’t think it is advisable to play football in this country now in the midst of the pandemic.”

“The government has reiterated its stand on this issue. Even for the easing of the restrictions, football was not added. Football activities will return, but stringent measures need to be put in place as we see in the European leagues,” the former Great Olympics coach observed.
He said starting football activities without engaging medical officers who would regularly check the status of players, technical staff and administrators prior to competitive or friendly matches would put the health of such stakeholders at risk so far as the COVID-19 pandemic was concerned.

“Returning football activities in Ghana also implies that club administrators and players should be prepared to play in empty stadiums as is happening in Europe.

“Playing behind closed doors will be the ideal thing for now. Although it will be unpleasant and not motivating enough for players, it has to be observed as part of the safety protocols,” he insisted.

On when he thought would be his ideal period for football activities to return, the veteran trainer said it should return in mid-September or early October.

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