The chairman of the Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA), Mr Kudjoe Fianoo, has underscored the need for clubs to put in place secured retirement packages for their players.
He explained that such an intervention would help curtail the challenges some football players faced when they finally hang their boots.
Speaking to the Graphic Sports in Tema during the funeral of Yakubu Abubakari, a former Black Stars and Ajax Amsterdam midfielder yesterday, Mr Fianoo noted that too many players faced poverty in retirement.
“The lessons we’ve learnt from his (Yakubu) sudden demise is that what plans do we have for players when they retire?”
The stories associated with his (Yakubu’s) last days were not pleasant.
As administrators, what welfare packages have we put in place for the future upkeep of the players if they should hang their boots? he asked.
It is natural that not all of them can continue to be in football like coaches, etc.
Those who cannot continue in football, what plans do we have for them? he queried.
He said as it is done elsewhere in Europe, clubs should have retirement packages for their players.
Mr Fianoo also advised players to do more for themselves and invest their earnings while in active service so that when they retire, they can have something to fall back on.
While commending the Professional Footballers Association of Ghana, (PFAG) for taking steps and making strides to support both active and retired footballers, Mr Fianoo, who also serves as the Chief Executive officer of AshantiGold Sporting Club Limited, said there was the need for players to move a step further by making prudent investment decisions during their active playing days.
The General Secretary of the PFAG, Anthony Baffoe, said though the association runs a welfare account, which extends help to a lot of players, not every player contributes to it.
He stressed the need for players to contribute to the welfare account to make it grow.
"Even if it is a small amount, it is symbolic. It is important we all help to make it grow so that we can help more players out there" he appealed.
Mr Baffoe underlined the need for players, both active and retired, to sign onto the National Health Insurance Scheme so they can access health care services and screening regularly to help detect illness from the onset.
John Paintsil said It was very important for players to join groups like PFAG where collectively, they can seek support from each other.
“Life after football is not easy but we thank God for the PFAG which is doing well by rallying both current and former players together and seek their welfare”.
Ex-Ghanaian International, Awudu Issaka, aka Disco Dancer, advised young footballers to seek advice from retired players and also learn from their experiences to help build a successful career.