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FIFA President warns GFA against early 'irresponsible' re-start of the Ghana Premier League

Published on: 14 April 2020
FIFA President warns GFA against early 'irresponsible' re-start of the Ghana Premier League
GFA President Kurt Okraku and FIFA leader Infantino

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has warned the Ghana Football Association (GFA) against re-starting domestic football in the country too early amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The GFA is among FIFA's 211 member associations that Infantino has told that such behaviour would be 'irresponsible' as the world fights to defeat the deadly disease.

The Swiss national has been forced to react as football federations across the globe are seeking to restart their competitions following their suspension over coronavirus.

Soccer around the world has come to a standstill with domestic leagues on hold and major tournaments such as Euro 2020 and the Copa America postponed for one year.

The GFA also halted domestic competitions last month after the President of the country Nana Akufo Addo put the country on lockdown to help prevent the spread of the disease.

Now Infantino has told the GFA and the other 210 member associations that rushing to restart the local competition would be tantamount to putting human lives at risk.

"Our first priority, our principle, the one we will use for our competitions and encourage everyone to follow is that health comes first," Infantino said in a statement specially aimed at its members.

"I cannot stress this enough. No match, no competition, no league is worth risking a single human life. Everyone in the world should have this very clear in their mind."

Meanwhile, discussions are being held around the world over when and how to re-start the season while in some countries there are disagreements over whether players should face pay cuts.

"It would be more than irresponsible to force competitions to resume if things are not 100 per cent safe," Infantino said.

"If we have to wait a little longer we must do so. It's better to wait a little bit longer than to take any risks."

Infantino reiterated that FIFA was assessing the financial impact of the stoppage so it could prepare the right response.

"You have to know that we will be there and we will find solutions together," he said.

"You will never be alone... (and) the world will know where the money goes and, equally important, why the money goes there.

"If football manages to have a discussion where everyone contributes positively, and keeps in mind the global interest over the individual one, I am convinced our future can be better than our past, and we will be better prepared for the times ahead," Infantino added.

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