The unflinching love and following for the various European leagues by Ghanaian football fans is a major cause of the significant drop in the patronage of local football, owner of Asokwa Deportivo (a Division One League side), Aminu Abdulai has claimed.
Known in the local football circles as Kamarat, Abdulai an avowed follower of the local game highlighted some factors that have impacted negatively of Ghana Football’s growth and development.
The local leagues have been starved of huge crowds at match venues regularly; a scene that doesn’t mirror the past where fans thronged to match centers to cheer on their local football heroes during league matches.
Currently, only pockets of fans follow the local league, with the mad love for European leagues like the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga et al taking center stage.
Huge crowds populate various match viewing centers to watch the likes of Manchester United, Barcelona, Chelsea, Real Madrid etc. during match-days subjecting local clubs like Hearts of Oak, Asante Kotoko among others to near-neglect, eventually affecting the local league.
Speaking on this development during an interview with Kumasi-based Silver FM, Kamarat said, “A lot of factors have contributed to the reduced interests in our domestic leagues most especially the juvenile(colts) football.
”At first there was low publicity for the foreign sports than today….. but the increased publicity and player development by these foreign clubs have resulted in increased fan interest in the sports than our own local league,” he furthered.
”Fans have now developed much love for European clubs like Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid all because of the way these foreign clubs manage players and the affairs of the club.
”So it will be very difficult to bring back the love…the only thing to do is to look at how we can develop our local players in our nations top flight.
Discussions have been had at several quarters about how to beat down the huge numbers that follow foreign football leagues and clubs.
Some have gone on to suggest, regulating access to these foreign league while also promoting excessively the local game.
The Ghana FA under the leadership of Kurt Okraku has launched several initiatives that were helping to draw attention back to the local game; the efforts were paying off until the Coronavirus pandemic forced the halting of football in the country.