22nd anniv. of May 9 Accra Stadium disaster marked
The 22nd edition of the May 9 Accra Stadium disaster commemorative ceremony was marked yesterday at the forecourt of the Accra Sports Stadium.
The solemn ceremony in remembrance of the 127 fans that lost their lives in 2001 during a game between Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko, commenced with lifesaving and emergency care demonstrations by the Ghana National Ambulance Service.
Consequently, wreaths were laid in honour of the victims, starting with the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Mustapha Ussif on behalf of the State, the Director General of the National Sports Authority (NSA), Prof. Peter Twumasi, on behalf of the sports fraternity while representatives of both Hearts and Kotoko also took turns to lay wreaths for their departed fans.
In his address, Mr Mustapha Ussif, said the May 9 tragedy must serve as a reminder for all to be committed to safety at the stadia across the country.
He said, the government in a bid to make sports accessible to all, was also committed to ensuring the safety of sportsmen and supporters.
“The government has ensured that the stadia across the country have first class ambulance facilities to ensure emergency care is provided to spectators. The stadia are free and secure and fans can troop in to support their teams,” he stressed.
“We console the bereaved family and would continue to support the children of the deceased through the Trust Fund,” he stated.
The NSA boss, Prof. Twumasi said “never again should we allow that incident to occur at any stadia.”
He urged supporters and all stakeholders to commit to playing by the rules of the game at all times and not take laws into their hands.
He lauded the Trustees of the Stadium Disaster Trust Fund for the support for families affected by the incident.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr Christopher Annan said the fund was initiated to take care of the education of the children of the victims.
“It was to support them to the Senior High School (SHS) but extended to the university as some of the wards are doing well,” he stated.
One of the children, Ms Eunice Abadu, he said, had completed the University of Professional Studies Accra (UPSA) and others at the University of Ghana (UG) and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
BY MICHAEL D.ABAYATEYE