The solemn ceremony was attended by government officials, soccer loving fans, administrators and family members of the victims.

Accra Sports stadium
Accra Sports stadium

The 127 soccer fans died on May 9, 2001, in a tragic incident at the stadium during a local premier league match between Ghana’s two most successful football clubs, Accra Hearts of Oak and arch rivals Kumasi Asante Kotoko.

The police fired tear gas into the stands in their efforts to control rioting fans after Hearts overturned a one-goal deficit to lead 2-1, resulting in a stampede during which the fans lost their lives while attempting to escape.

Hundreds more fans were seriously injured during the incident described by aficionados of the game as Africa’s worst ever stadium disaster and the world’s third.

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Nii Lantey Vanderpuije, laid a wreath on behalf of the government and people of Ghana while Kwasi Nyantakyi, president of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), laid one on behalf of the football fraternity.

Addressing the solemn ceremony, Vanderpuije urged the sporting fraternity to eschew violent conducts.

Nyantakyi sounded a word of caution to the living to remind themselves of the hard lessons of the disaster.

“The incident has taught the football federation lessons that have influenced our regulations and status of the association to the extent that we look very hard at violent conducts at our games,” he said.

Premier league clubs observed a minute silence across last Sunday’ s league centers to mark the day.

The Premier League Board has reminded stakeholders of the need to continue to uphold the tenets of the game to forestall the recurrence of incidents which led to the unfortunate event. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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