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May 9 Stadium Disaster: Sports Minister, others appeal to football fans to desist from hooliganism

Mustapha Ussif   May 9.jpeg Mustapha Ussif with a delegation at the May 9 ceremony

Mon, 10 May 2021 Source: footballghana.com

• Ghana witnessed a stadium disaster in 2001 during a match between Kotoko and Hearts of Oak

• 127 football fans perished

• 20 years on and an anniversary has been held with an appeal to supporters to avoid riots

The Minister of Youth and Minister Mr. Mustapha Ussif in collaboration with the Director-General of the National Sports Authority led by Professor Peter Twumasi on Sunday, May 9th, 2021 observed the 20th anniversary of the stadium disaster.

127 football fans died at the Accra Sports Stadium 20 years ago during a match between the two biggest Ghanaian clubs Accra Hearts Of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko.

Speaking at the Commemorative event, Mr Mustapha Ussif urged stakeholders to sensitize fans to pursue and ensure zero-tolerance for hooliganism and desist from engaging in acts that has the tendency of causing disaffection among supporters during matches.

"We are gathered here today because it's a solemn occasion for us and the nation at large as we commemorate the 20th anniversary of black day in our football and sports archives. We cannot give this day a worthy commemoration without picking lessons from what happened and the circumstances leading to the tragic loss. Sports and for that matter football, is one of the pillars upon which harmony and cohesion are built, no matter the rivalry. But on that fateful day, we missed the essence of the sports and the effect was an unimaginable national tragedy we had." he added

The Director-General of the National Sports Authority Professor Peter Twumasi on his part asked football fans to learn lessons from what transpired 20 years ago in order not to repeat them.

"The National Sports Authority who owns the sporting facilities across the country have fully implemented the recommendations made by the Okudzeto Commission which was set up by former President John Agyekum Kuffour. We can say that all the renovated stadia and the newly built ones have been modernised in terms of the entry and exit point which would ensure people are safe at all times".

The administrator of the May 9th Foundation Mr. Christopher Annan commended the government for supporting over 148 widows and orphans with a number of them graduating from the Universities successfully.

The anniversary also brought together executives from the various football clubs and other important dignitaries.

These included the Chief Executive Officer of Kumasi Asante Kotoko Nana Yaw Amponsah, Hermann Hesse of Accra Hearts of Oak, and Mr. Kujo Fianoo, Chalca Chairman,

Others were Mr. Mike Addo, GFA Vice President, Mr. George Amoako, GFA Executive Council Member, Sheikh Armiyawo Shaibu from the office of the National Chief Imam among others.

Source: footballghana.com
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