Former Ghana FA Vice President, George Afriyie, strongly believes match-fixing is one of the biggest problems affecting fan attendance at various domestic league games.
AshantiGold and Inter Allies were found guilty by the Disciplinary Committee of the Ghanaian football regulatory body of having played a match of convenience.
The football governing body through its disciplinary wing subsequently melted out severe sanctions on the clubs including demoting them to the third-tier league.
Recently, an MTN FA Cup fixture between Ghana Premier League table-toppers Aduana Stars and Division One League side Bofoakwa Tano became a subject of public conversation when a supporter of Bofoakwa Tano gained access to the inner perimeter to warn match officials about a rumoured scoreline for the match.
To everyone’s surprise, the 3-2 scoreline which the supporter told the referee about minutes ahead of the kick-off was the eventual result of the round of 32 clash in the FA Cup.
Afriyie believes these rumours and happenings in the sport are affecting fan patronage.
“Sports betting is affecting our game. It is true that all over the world sports betting is there to the extent that betting companies sponsor clubs. However, we need to protect the product against match-fixing which leads to betting. This is where the GFA comes in as the regulator of the league,” he said at the Asempa FM Sports Dialogue at the Accra Digital Centers.
“The integrity of the game is very important. If we get rumours about a particular scoreline of a league and this is widely discussed public, if this scoreline eventually comes true then it affects the integrity of the game and nobody will pay money to patronise it,” he added.
In the game involving AshantiGold and Inter Allies, the Disciplinary Committee of the GFA said it was unable to establish whether the match was used for sports betting.