Other Sports of 2014-03-20

MPs condemn sports hooliganism

Members of Parliament (MPs) Wednesday condemned hooliganism and violence in sports and urged the law enforcement agencies to be resolute and deal with all infractions of the law in that area.

They also called for the forwarding of the Sports Bill to Parliament for passage, saying sections of the bill stated in clear terms how to deal with the problem.

The MPS made the call when the issue of the beating to death of a referee, Kwame Andoh Kyei, last week came up for discussion in the House.

During a Division Two football match between Gold Stars and Naa Joe United on March 9, this year, Referee Kyei was beaten up for some refereeing decisions he had taken which a section of the fans disagreed with.

He died of his injuries at the hospital last Friday.

No lesson from May 9

The MP for Asante Akim North, Mr Kwaku Baah Agyemang, who brought the issue to the floor through a statement, said the incident pointed to the fact that Ghanaians had not learnt any lesson from the May 9, 2001 stadium disaster in which 127 people died.

He said perhaps not much had been done to educate Ghanaian fans to be calm and act in a peaceful manner during matches.

He called on the Ministry of Youth and Sports to quickly submit the much-awaited Sports Bill to Parliament, saying it would replace SMC Decree 54 of 1976 which, among other things, deals with the various aspects of sports management, promotion and development in Ghana.

Mr Agyemang admonished the various football clubs in the various divisions to educate their fans that hooliganism had no place in football.

The MP for Akwatia, Mr Baba Jamal, said MPs should not only pass the Sports Bill but also ensure that it was implemented afterwards.

He said there was inducement of match officials at the lower level of football in the country and said higher remuneration for referees was likely to help address the problem. He also called for adequate security during matches and advised football fans to accept defeat even on their home ground.

Crack the whip

The MP for Atwima-Mponua, Mr Isaac Asiamah, urged the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to "crack the whip" and deal with indiscipline.

He said there were rules governing the game which had been crafted by the GFA but which was not being enforced, a situation which had led to impunity.

He called for fair officiating, saying it would help curb the high incidence of hooliganism, and advocated regular capacity-building programmes for referees and other match officials.

Mr Asiamah also called for an improvement in sports infrastructure. In his opinion, poor remuneration could lead to match officials receiving inducement and taking wrong decisions and said raising referees’ allowances could go a long way to minimise the problem.

Education

The MP for South Tongu, Mr Kobena Mensah Woyome, said there was the need to intensify education at the lower levels of football.

Perpetrators of violent acts, he said, needed to be brought to book.

The MP for Atwima-Kwanwoma, Dr Kojo Appiah-Kubi, said if hooliganism in sports was not curbed, it would badly affect the nation.

He urged all stakeholders, including the GFA, the Ghana Police Service and the National Sports Council, to devise strategies to fight hooliganism in sports. "A stitch in time saves nine," he said.