Coronavirus: Govt stimulus package for football clubs possible - GFA president Okraku

Kurt Okraku GFA Boss GFA President, Kurt Edwin Simeon-Okraku

Fri, 12 Jun 2020 Source: ghanasoccernet.com

Ghana Football Association (GFA) president Kurt Okraku has revealed all is not over for the sports community's hopes of benefiting from a Government of Ghana stimulus package in the wake of the Covid-19 disturbances.

With many activities and entities disrupted by the disease, the Ghanaian government has made funds available to alleviate the suffering of businesses.

The GFA, together with the Ghana Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) and the Ghana League Clubs Association (Ghalca), presented a joint-proposal for the consideration of the football community on the disbursement of the funds, but the request was ignored as the government released its first tranche, incurring the wrath of many industry players.

"As I indicated during our Zoom Meeting in May, the leadership of the Association has continuously held positive engagements with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and other high ranking Government officials on matters related to a Stimulus Package for our clubs to alleviate some of the hardships on owners and our players," Okraku said in a Covid-19 and related matters update letter to club owners and chief executive officers on Thursday.

"Our proposal for support was sent to the Ministry for Youth and Sports on April 7, 2020 and we have since had various engagements and meetings on the subject.

"In this proposal, we sought support for members (clubs, RFAs [Regional Football Associations] and Ghalca) for the payment of salaries of players and employees during the Covid-19 outbreak period. We advanced arguments on the economic losses suffered by clubs, rent payments among others, and asked for temporary suspension of payments of PAYE [Pay-as-you-earn tax], CIT [Corporate Income Tax], SSNIT [Social Security and National Insurance Trust], any tax obligations and for interest-free loans to clubs.

"As confirmed by the Sector Minister, Isaac Asiamah (Hon.) on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 when he took his turn at the Covid-19 Update ‘Meet The Press’ series in Accra, discussions are still ongoing on this proposal from the Association as part of the “Ministry specific” support from the government.

"It is therefore very clear that a lot of thinking, discussion, planning and engagements have gone on between the GFA and the Youth and Sports Ministry. We will continue with the engagements with the hope that the government will come to the aid of the football industry."

All domestic football competitions have been on hold since a national ban on public gatherings, including sporting and religious events, came into effect as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus on March 15.

The ban on all contact sports, including football, is in effect until at least July 31.

The GFA has set a June 30 deadline to make a final decision on the future of the 2019-20 Ghana football season in the wake of the disruptions.

Source: ghanasoccernet.com
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