The Ghana Premier League is one of the top destinations in Africa that presents real football prospects but collectively the league is , in at least the last decade, one of the weakest on the continent and here we present an analysis of the situation.
Algerian football is currently among the best in Africa and just within the first round of the 2020/21 league season three Ghanaian players have joined three separate soccer giants in the North African nation – WAFA attacker Daniel Lomotey at ES Setif, Kotoko’s Kwame Opoku moved to USM Alger and Joseph Esso of Dreams FC has been announced as MC Alger asset.
By the standard of the competition in Ghana all these players were on decent form. Lomotey provided 8 goals for WAFA, Opoku scored 7 goals and another goal in Africa for Kotoko and Esso was the scorer of 10 goals for Dreams.
If the Ghana league is without individual quality players I do not think the best of Algerian clubs will line up here to scout for talents and indeed they have the money and appeal to do.
In the last few seasons we have seen the likes of Abdul Fatau Safiu leave Kotoko for Sweden, Hearts of Oak sold Kofi Kordzi to Muaither SC in Qatar , Kwame Bonsu to Esperance, Winful Cobbinah left Hearts of Oak for abroad and I could enumerate quiet a number of such transfers.
But here is the problem of much concern. No Ghanaian club has progressed from the group stages of either the CAF Champions League or the Confederation Cup to reach the knockout phase since 2004 that Hearts of Oak and Kotoko did so to stage an all-Ghana affair in the final of the 2004 Confederation Cup. The biggest rivals of the country dropped from the Champions League but produced some wonderful football to top their respective group with the Phobians winning the trophy.
Clubs that sell their best players consistently cannot have any significant success over the same period and this is the reality of the game confronting Ghana league clubs.
That is 17 years that no football team from the country has been able to cross the so called “Money Zone”. Berekum Chelsea did so well in their debut African season of 2012 to reach the group stages of the Champions League in a group that contained the almighty Al Ahly , TP Mazembe and Zamalek but the 2011 Ghana champions failed to advance after finishing 3rd.
We have seen the 2008 Kotoko Confederation Cup team of Bashiru Hayford, the 2018/19 Kotoko Confederation Cup side of CK Akonnor , the 2016 team of Medeama in the Confederation Cup – all managed to reach the group stages but none of them could become perfect by qualifying to the knockout stages.
The current state of Ghana football – which is on a serious nosedive – is across all fronts as the Black Stars have also not won the AFCON since 1982.
Until Ghanaian clubs begin to keep consistent quality teams – as it used to be in the glory days- the chances of achieving success in Africa remains a miniscule.