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FEATURE: The shortfalls of the 2018 G8 Tournament

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Kudjoe Fianoo, GHALCA Chairman

The 2018 G8 Tournament has so far given some amazing matches that have lightened the football arena in the country, especially at a time that the orthodox football season is at rest.

Right from the kick off of the tournament, some of us felt organization had been poor and publicity, poorer. These factors have led to poor spectatoring and the international world will surely not take us serious.

I know life is a learning curve with every day’s experience. But the shortfalls of the G6 Tournament played last year should have offered the organizers enough lessons to be able to right the wrongs. But the same old story.

One of the major challenges of this tournament is poor organization. The tournament has been poorly organized in a very hasty manner causing matches to be rescheduled at unannounced timings compelling coaches to alter their programs over and over again. Before Hearts played Medeama on Wednesday, the teams were told the game will be Thursday before they left Cape Coast after their opening matches.

Then two days before the game, the date was brought to Wednesday. Clubs were told they will play at 3pm on Wednesday but it was changed to 5pm then a day before the game, it was moved to 3pm again. Why the inconsistencies?

Now look at how poorly the last group games are to be played:

  • Aduana Stars vs Kotoko – Kumasi
  • Dreams FC vs Techiman Eleven Wonders – Obuasi
  • Dwarfs vs Hearts – Cape Coast
  • Medeama vs Karela – Elmina

What is the purpose of playing these matches at the other centers? Did organizers consider marketing of their product and the commercial demerits attached to the games being played at the other centers? Will supporters go and watch these games and will all the games be given television coverage?

You can clearly see that there is no strategic reason for these matches either than just to ensure the matches are played. It is not always the case that some of us want to take on officialdom but they create too much room to be questioned.

Just even consider how poor publicity has been. Almost all matches have been played at virtually empty stadia – a phenomenon that has killed the zeal and the electronic atmosphere expected at matches.

I was not surprised when after posting the results of the opening matches on my social media handles, I had calls from friends who were asking the kind of tournament it was.

Interestingly, the people who have always complained that there is no clear media plan from the FA for the Ghana Premier League are the same people struggling to get a media plan for an 8-team tournament. Karma! Are we only interested in talking than acting?

One other concern that can’t be left untouched is the number of substitutes. This is a preseason tournament and by the definition and purpose of the tourney, clubs should have had at least 5 changes to aid them test most of their players. Restricting the number of substitutes to 3 does not serve the purpose of helping clubs to prepare for the season.

The Big Question – Why didn’t the organizers take a lesson from the WAFU tournament? Couldn’t both groups -A and B have camped in Cape Coast or in Kumasi or Elmina or Obuasi to play all the matches there? WAFU was 16 teams so why not 8 teams? Were the organizers feeling too arrogant to learn from the WAFU or they were trying to be innovative. This can surely not be innovative since it was done last year and, poorly it ended. Playing all the matches at one center will even make television coverage easier.

Let the lessons be learnt and let the mistakes not be repeated.

By: Sheikh Tophic Sienu @desheikh1 on twitter



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