Ghana FA medical chief Baba casts doubt over Premier League's October return

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The health expert believes the participating clubs will need more time to get ready for the new season 

Ghana Football Association (GFA) Medical Committee head Dr. Adam Baba believes the Premier League (GPL) will not start on October 30 as announced by national President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Sunday.

After six months of football suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic, the sport received the all-clear for a comeback from the head of state, on the back of a significant decrease in Ghana's number of active Covid-19 cases.

"It is impossible to start the league in October from my point of view. If the government said go ahead, you can start but we cannot start in October,” Baba told Kumasi FM.

”There’s no team that can tell you that it has started preparation. We need a minimum of four to six weeks for the clubs, they need to purchase new players and start pre-season training which cannot be done in three weeks.

"Practically, we give ourselves four to six weeks from the time we’ve been asked to start so the earliest we might start in November.”

The 2019-20 Premier League was at the match week 15 stage when it was brought to a halt, at the time, temporarily. In June, the GFA Executive Committee took a decision to cancel the season permanently.

“Towards the progressive easing of restrictions, the government has taken the decision to allow the resumption of training in all contact sports, taking into consideration the imminent participation of our national teams in international competitions,” Akufo-Addo stated in the televised address.

“Indeed, some national teams have already been given the dispensation to begin training ahead of their international engagements. All sportspeople who are camped are to be tested regularly.

“Fellow Ghanaians, with respect to football, after due consultations with the Ghana Football Association, it has been decided that the Ghana Premier League and the Division One Football League will restart on Friday 30th October with a full regime of testing of players, technical and management staff.

“No spectators will be allowed at the training centres and when actual competition resumes, sitting at all stadia will be limited to 25% capacity to ensure social distancing. Wearing of masks by spectators at stadia will be mandatory.

“The restart of all other sporting competitions will be determined on a case-by-case basis, pending consultations between the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the respective sport associations.”

Bechem United CEO Nana Kwasi Darling believes resuming football in October after a six-month break may be too soon.

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“It’s been far too long not experiencing football for the past four months. We are really pleased with the lifting of the ban," Darling told Light FM.

"Commencing the league in December would have been better for the players to train and attain match fitness but all in all, we will adjust to it starting next month."

The GFA is expected to make a statement on the way forward for the league in the coming days. 

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