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Ghanaian football returns after 10-month break

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After almost 10 months of inactivity due to the outbreak of COVID-19, Ghana’s football activities have returned.

At the launch of the 2020-21 football season here last Thursday, Ghana Football Association (GFA) President Kurt Okraku said, “We are on the precipice of a new football season.

It is time that many have longed for in the last ten months. I look forward to the familiar feeling of anticipation, anguish, joy, passion, and all other emotions that football is known to unearth.”

The GFA, together with the government’s COVID-19 taskforce, has announced a number of measures, including the mandatory testing of all players, coaches, and team officials, match venues restricted to 25 percent capacity of spectators, and the mandatory wearing of face masks.

The GFA also trained club safety and security officers on the measures to take before, during, and after games on each matchday to ensure strict adherence to safety protocols.

At a virtual meeting with club owners and administrators, GFA General Secretary Prosper Harrsion Addo outlined comprehensive safety measures the Ghana Premier League was to comply with to ensure an incident-free football season in the midst of the pandemic.

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The new league season sees the return of Ghanaian legend Asamoah Gyan, all-time top scorer for the national team with 51 goals. He last played in Ghana 17 years ago for Liberty Professionals, before moving overseas to ply his trade for clubs including Udinese in Italy, French side Rennes, Al-Ain in the United Arab Emirates, and English Premier League outfit Sunderland.

Though Gyan had intended to sign for Asante Kotoko, an agreement could not be reached, hence Gyan ended up signing for one of the youngest clubs in the country, Legon Cities FC.

Television rights to cover the Ghana Premier League have been awarded to Chinese company StarTimes, which will provide a financial boost of one million U.S. dollars to the league.

18 clubs will compete over a 34-week period for the Ghana Premier League title.