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Sports News Fri, 1 May 2020

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Coronavirus: When will GPL return?

There is uncertainty over the future of the Ghana Premier League(GPL) which has ground to a halt because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the Confederation of African Football (Caf) requesting a status update from member associations on the situation and future of their national leagues by Tuesday, the pressure is ever-mounting on the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to promptly decide the way forward for the championship.

Coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, has brought the world to a near standstill as it has so far infected over 3,320,024 and claimed 234,283 lives, forcing a major disruption to many activities and events.

As a means to counter the spread of the infection, major sporting competitions have had to take a forced break as part of social distancing and self-isolation measures.

Following the likes of England, Italy, Germany and Morcocco, Ghana suspended its national leagues on March 15, shortly after President Nana Akufo-Addo announced a ban on all public gatherings, including sporting and religious events.

According to the statement by the GFA, all its competitions were to take a break so long as the ban persists.

The decree against public gatherings, initially scheduled for a month, has had to be extended multiple times as Ghana's coronavirus cases keep increasing.

Ghana confirmed its first two cases of Coronavirus on March 12.

On March 15, when public gatherings were banned and the Premier League was suspended, a total of six cases had been recorded.

As at Friday May 1, the West African nation has registered 2,074 cases involving 17 deaths and 212 recoveries.

The growing number of cases has made it almost impossible to tell when the Premier League will return, but with the country having suspended a partial lockdown in Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi after three weeks of enforcement, there is hope life may soon be returning to normal.

The future of the league, though, is not clear.

While top officials of some clubs, including Berekum Chelsea, Eleven Wonder and King Faisal have publicly called for the complete annulment of the current season, another group believes the championship should be continued, regardless of the time football is allowed to be played again.

The GFA recently announced it has begun engaging stakeholders via Zoom video conferencing to decide the next step for the league.

A decision is expected to be reached by Tuesday when Caf expects member associations to submit a formal report on the status and way forward for their leagues.

The Premier League was at its matchweek 15 stage when it was brought to a halt and Aduana Stars aretwo points clear atop the standings.

Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak are the two most successful clubs in the history of the championship, with 23 and 19 titles, respectively

Source: goal.com

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