The Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Pius Enam Hadzide, says the low standard of the Ghana Premier League is as a result of the failure of football fans to visit stadiums on match days.
According to Mr Hadzide, Ghanaian clubs are unable to offer attractive salaries to their players because of low gate proceeds on match days, resulting from poor attendance.
This, he said, had resulted in the yearly exodus of quality players from the various local leagues who travel abroad for improved contracts.
“We the people and spectators, our failure to go to the stadium, is the number one cause of the league’s failure,” Mr Hadzide said last Tuesday at the launch of the “Ghana: 60 Years on President’s Cup” in Accra.
He added, “The last time, I watched a Hearts-Kotoko match in the stadium, I was not too happy that they still had empty seats at the stadium”.
The Minister entreated football fans to give a bit of the enthusiasm they have for foreign football leagues to the Ghana Premier League in order to improve the fortunes of local clubs.
“We should be proud of what we have; the enthusiasm that we show in the foreign leagues; the EPL, the Spanish La Liga, the Italian Serie A, if we showed half of that same interest in our own local league, I can assure you we will go places”.
“…we must fill our league centres for all outstanding league matches; the teams must make money to pay the players well, that is the only way that we can improve the standard of the local league,” he advised.