The much-awaited 2021/22 Ghana Premier League (GPL) season officially begins this weekend at match venues across the country. There is much optimism that the new season will produce much more excitement among the fans of the game compared to previous seasons.
Newly promoted side Accra Lions will open the 2021/22 Premier League with a home fixture against Elmina Sharks at the Accra Sports stadium on Friday, October 29, 2021 at 6pm GMT.
The Zone Three Champions who finished third in the just ended Division One League Super Cup will test their strength against an Elmina Sharks team led by Ghana legend coach Nii Odartey Lamptey.
Coach of Accra Lions, Rainer Kraft, will make his GPL bow with the likes of Osman Kasim, Rauf Salifu, Fawzan Dandawa, Joseph Addo Tetteh and Hagan Frimpong, looking ahead to a bright start in the Ghanaian top flight.
The Referees Committee of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) has appointed Benjamin K. Seffah as the center referee for the match. First games are always cagy as every team resolves to start the season on a good note. Whilst Sharks are tagged by pundits as favorites to win the game, the Lions also have a point to prove having secured a 3-2 victory over defending champions, Accra Hearts of Oak, in a pre-season friendly. This will serve as a boost for the team to go all out in search for the first 3 points in their premier league history.
Other fixtures for Match Day one
In other fixtures for Match Day One, Dreams FC will host the Porcupine Warriors, Kumasi Asante Kotoko at the Accra Sports stadium on Saturday, October 30. The ‘Still Believe lads’ have been moved to Accra because their home grounds require more work to be in shape following the disruption caused when their venue hosted the Eatern Regional Division Two Middle League game between Okwahu United and Kweabibirem FC.
Elsewhere, League Champions, Accra Hearts of Oak will begin their title defense with a home tie against Legon Cities in Accra. The battle between Coach Samuel Boadu and Maxwell Konadu is scheduled for a- 3pm kick off at the Accra Sports stadium on Sunday. The Phobians will seek to redeem themselves after they were humbled 6-1 by Wydad Athletic Club of Morocco in the CAF Champions League final preliminary game.
There is joy in the North as the GPL returns to Tamale with Real Tamale United (RTU) making its way back to the Ghanaian top flight. RTU will welcome Great Olympics to the Aliu Mahama Stadium in Tamale on Sunday.
The Matchday One fixtures will be rounded up at the Ohene Ameyaw Park in Techiman with Eleven Wonders taking on AshantiGold on Sunday, October 31, 2021.
GPL Adopted five substitution rule
The 2021/22 Ghana Premier League season was launched on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at the Headquarters of the Association in Accra. The GFA has adopted the five substitution rule for the upcoming 2021/22 season after reaching an agreement with the 18 Premier League clubs.
This followed FIFA’s decision to increase the substitutes to protect player welfare amid a congested fixture schedule in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to complete the 2019/20 season.
A number of Leagues across the globe adopted the rule when football returned in the 2019/20 season, allowing teams to use five substitutes instead of the standard three. This means Ghana will now follow the footsteps of the other Leagues like the EPL, SPL, La-liga among others. There is a lot to look out for in the upcoming season, as Hearts of Oak are poised to retain the title after last season’s success since 2009.