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Soccer News Fri, 30 Apr 2004

Policeman Grabbed

A policeman, Boakye Darkwa, and an accomplice yet to be identified were last Sunday arrested for posing as ticket salesmen at a gate when Liberty Professionals played Angolan side, Petro Huambo, at the Accra Stadium.

The arrest was effected by security personnel of the National Sports Council (NSC). Darkwa could not enjoy the ?65,000 he secured from 13 fans as he spent, at least, the immediate moments following his arrest at the ministries police cells.

Darkwa appeared to have a fragile self-control, and when some fans enticed him during the game he could not resist the temptation and succumbed to a ?5000-per fan offer to allow them watch the game.However, their entry into the stadium through Gate 5 ? where Darkwa was assigned ? to watch the second half of the CAF Confederations Cup match proved too costly for Darkwa when the NSC security men confronted him on suspicion.

When his attitude aroused scepticism, Darkwa was approached by the NSC security men whose search on him fired blank, but yet managed to retrieve the ?65,000 he had splashed into open space when he sensed the impending danger.Darkwa was on duty at the stadium as a complementary security staff to assist in maintaining discipline at the gate.

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Liberty, playing in Africa for the first time, advertised the game well to maximise funds from the gates, which remain the most reliable source of revenue for Ghanaian clubs.Although the crowd was far in excess of Liberty?s known support base, it was nowhere in the region of figures that could provide record returns and match the expenditure pumped into the financially- demanding assignment.

So when Darkwa reduced the face value of tickets at the Popular Stand and pocketed the ?65,000 from 13 fans, it hit Liberty as though insult had been added to their injury. For, indeed, even with the payment of the full ?10,000 charged at that stand, Liberty would have made just ?130,000 from the 13 fans.

Darkwa?s accomplice is said to be a member of a private security company, hired to supervise ticket sales at the match which Liberty won 5-1 to qualify for the next round of the competition on 5-2 aggregate.

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