PLB in a fix over FIFA deadline
The Premier League Board (PLB) is in a fix following a circular mandating all national leagues to end by May 18 next year.
World football governing body FIFA has communicated to its affiliated national associations to draw the curtains on their local football calendar by the said timeline in the wake of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The 2014 World Cup will be held from June 12 to July 13 in Brazil, but FIFA has directed all local competitions to end 24 clear days to the opening ceremony of the 20th edition of the Mundial.
According to FIFA, the only exemption is for the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), which has until May 21, due to the final of the UEFA Champions League.
This development will serve a pain in the neck of the PLB and its mother body, the Ghana Football Association (GFA), as it may race against time to meet the directives of the global body.
The PLB has been silent on the date for the commencement of the 2013/2014 Premier League despite releasing a partial calendar last week.
This is due to the fact that the Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA), organisers of the annual Top Four tournament, has gate-crashed the plans of the PLB after naming September 1 for the kick-off of the pre-season tournament.
With this, the Premier League can only take off in October, meaning the PLB has barely eight months to organise the 240-game competition.
This will certainly serve a tall mountain for a PLB inconsistent with deadlines to climb as the immediate past season went through an 11-month period characterised by the usual altering of the calendar at will.
Another hurdle for the PLB is the participation of the local Black Stars in next year’s African Nations Championship (CHAN) in South Africa, which will mean the elite division could go on break between the January 11 to February 1 tournament duration.
GNA Sports gathers that the GFA and PLB are set to meet to discuss thoroughly the FIFA directive and plan accordingly for the 2013/2014 season.
According to FIFA, players expected to participate in the World Cup must observe a mandatory rest from May 18 till May 26, before joining their teams’ preparations for the Mundial.