MAY 9 DISASTER

Eleven years ago on this day, lovers of football died at the Accra Sports Stadium. They had gone to see the crunch game between Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko. May 9, 2001. For the international audience it may be just another date. In Ghana, that date brings black memories for football fans and Ghanaians in general of that league game. 127 football fans that never returned.

The chaos occurred when fans stampeded after police fired teargas into a stand in that fateful league match. A committee of enquiry set up to investigate the circumstances that led to the tragedy recommended the prosecution of the police officers who handled security on the fateful day. The officers have since been tried and acquitted of manslaughter.

Though the government of Ghana paid 10 million old Ghana cedis [at the time it was equivalent to $1000; inflation means it’s now $531 today] apiece to families of the victims, that did little to help such dependents recover from the trauma and reality of losing a loved one and breadwinner for ever.

Football matches in Ghana are still plagued by organizational problems and a lot of our stadia and parks are still death traps. They should be venues for sportsmanship.

Source : Supersports.com

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