16 clubs set for big kick off

14 years ago

The league might have been held up by a five month delay but the passionate game returns this weekend when the new premiership season kicks off.

Despite litigations waged against the league organisers that by sanctioned clubs culminating in the late start of the league, Ghana’s elite competition has attracted a massive cash injection from sponsors, the highest ever in the history of the 51 year-old league.

Last year’s sponsors, cellular service providers, Onetouch upped the ante from ¢3.5 billion to a ¢17 billion comprehensive deal for the new season which commences on Sunday.

Aside the title sponsor’s cash, the Ghana Football Association managed to sign on an exclusive broadcast deal with South African satellite television channel, Afri-Sat, to televise the premiership for a three year period.

The three-year deal worth $2.750 million, gives the South African-based television channel exclusive rights to broadcast Ghana’s elite league, the Onetouch premier league on their network.

Afri-Sat says they are ready to roll out their broadcast of live, delayed and highlights of 480 matches to Africa, Europe, the U.S and locally.

“We are going to enjoy the league when it kicks off. Ghana has lots of talents. And after the African Cup of Nations, the league would make use of the four new stadiums which has nice pitches and that is going to give the broadcast a class,” Rene Williams, CEO of Afri-Sat told in an interview.

The league apart from the publicity it would enjoy globally has also seen club’s invest heavily in personnel.

Kumasi Asante Kotoko, who are expected to challenge for the title have managed to hand contracts to Ghana internationals, Baba Adamu Adams and Kojo Poku as they duo return from abroad.

Former Ghana international, Mohammed Gargo has also pitched camp with AshantiGold for the new season as the Miners seek to win the title for since 1996.

Defending champions, Accra Hearts of Oak’s major acquisition is Kofi Abanga, a player whose name hogged the headlines as the Phobians beat their archrivals, Asante Kotoko to the midfielder’s signature.

However, new boys, Kessben FC has been the one of the busiest sides in the transfer market aside Kotoko.

Kessben FC have done some descent signings at a huge cost that puts them above their fellow debutants Zaytuna FC and Wa All Stars who have been on the quiet.

Old guards, Berekum Arsenals, Liberty Professionals, Hearts of Lions, Accra Great Olympics, Gamba All Blacks, Hasaacas, Real Sportive, Real Tamale United, King Faisal and Tema Youth are expected to be strong oppositions after retaining the bulk of the personnel from last season.

When the new season kicks off finally, the competition for places in Africa would be on the minds of many while they attempt to guard against relegation. But the passionate supporters who have waited for long will be thrilled at all match centres.