May 9 shouldn’t deter us from going to stadium – Nyantakyi
Posted on: Thu May 10, 2012
GFA President Kwasi Nyantakyi has advised football lovers in the country not to allow memories of the May 9 stadium disaster which cost 127 lives to discourage them from going to the stadium.
He said no matter the agony and psychological trauma that the tragic incident which happened at the Accra Sports Stadium in 2001 has brought to the supporters, there was the need to forget about it and patronize the domestic league because without support the league will not be exciting to watch.
Nyantakyi made this appeal when stakeholders of Ghana football and the bereaved families of the May 9 stadium disaster gathered at the meeting grounds of Hearts of Oak’s Musical Chapter “O” at Nima, a suburb of Accra to celebrate the 11th anniversary of the May 9 Stadium disaster last Wednesday.
“We have gathered here today not only to remember those who passed away on May 9 2001 but also to deliberate on how to ensure that such horrific incident will never occur in Ghana football again. While I express my deepest condolence to the bereaved family, I also appeal to the fans to put memories of the sad event behind and start going to the stadium because football is all about support” were the words of Kwasi Nyantakyi.
The occasion brought together supporters of Kotoko and Hearts with Nana Kwame Dankwa and Aziz Haruna of the GARCC and Chapter “O” fame leading each side, club officials, football administrators as well as other dignitaries to mourn with the bereaved families and reflect on the tragic incident which occurred during a league match between Hearts and Kotoko. Most of the people who attended the ceremony wore either black or red attire and were seen shedding tears when Kwasi Nyantakyi ending his address said “Never Again”.
The GFA President used the occasion to advise football lovers never to forget that there are only three results in the game; win, draw or lose. He noted that at any point in time, a team will face one of these results and when it comes it is important for the supporters to accept it in good faith.
He observed that when a team feels cheated, it is absolutely wrong for any supporter to take the law into his own hands and misbehave or attack match officials. He said there are laid down rules and regulations to seek redress when a team is cheated. He entreated club officials as well as supporters to always abide by the rules in order to ensure sanity and progress in the game.
The Member of Parliament for Ayawaso East, Dr Mustapha Ahmed who also doubles as the Deputy Minister for Environment Science and Technology emphasized that football is a tool used to foster unity and peace adding that under no circumstances should we allow it to divide us.
He pleaded with both Kotoko and Hearts supporters to see themselves as one people from the same country and always consider the interest of the nation first.
The CEO of Hearts of Oak, Fred Crentsil and Board Member Alhaji Hearts advised supporters to take great lessons from the May 9 tragedy and refrain from hooliganism stressing that it retards the development of football.
From Nima, the entire continent went to the Ohene Djan Stadium to lay wreath in memory of the 127 fans who were killed in the disaster. The Minister of Youth and Sports, Clement Kofi Humado laid the wreath on behalf of the government while Asante Kotoko Executive Board Chairman Dr. K.K Sarpong and Hearts Board Member, Frank Nelson laid wreaths on behalf of Kotoko and Hearts respectively.
Then Sports Minister in his brief address advised all stakeholders of Ghana football particularly stadium managers and security personnel to re-examine the mechanism used in ensuing safety at the various stadia. He reiterated that the life of every individual is very dear to the nation so authorities must see to it that security arrangements at the stadium would improve tremendously so that people will feel safe and secure whenever they go to the stadium.
Some of the dignitaries present at the occasion were Worlanyo Agrah – Chairman of the National Sports Authority, Alhaji Raji – Ghalca Chairman, Dr. Ashong Katai – Vice Chairman of the Stadium Disaster Relief Management Committee, Herbert Mensah – former Kotoko CEO, Ashford Tetteh Oku – Hearts of Oak Administrative Manager, among others.
Members of the Millennium Supporters Union (MISUGHA) were also there in their numbers with their brass band which added a lot of excitement and colour to the occasion.
As part of activities to mark the 11th anniversary of the tragedy, the Black Starlets defeated Black Satellites 3-0 in a special friendly match at the Ohene Djan Stadium later in the day. Nafiu Dramani, Emmanuel Boateng and Osei Barnes scored for Starlets
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