127 football fans were killed during a stampede at the Accra Sports Stadium, Ghana. The fans were watching a match between Ghana’s top two football teams, Accra Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko.

The home side, Hearts of Oak, was pivoted to winning position by two late goals, giving them a final lead score of 2-1. Disgruntled Kotoko fans vetted frustration at having their victory snatched at the last minute by throwing seats and bottles onto the pitch. Police responded by firing tear gas into the crowd, causing panic.

The tragedy was compounded because some exit gates were locked, preventing people from escaping. Six police officers were charged with manslaughter, but later acquitted.

The Accra Sports Stadium disaster was the fourth football disaster in Africa in less than a month in 2001. The others happened in South Africa, where 43 fans were killed on 11th April, the Congo, where 14 fans were killed on 29th April and the Ivory Coast, were 39 fans were killed on 6 May.

The following video was produced to mark the tenth anniversary of the disaster:

Amma Fosuah

“Always bear in mind that people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in anyone’s head. They are fighting to win material benefits to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children.” Amilcar Cabral

By: Amma Fosuah Poku.

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