Bukom Arena declared crime scene

Author: Bernard Neequaye
Bukom Boxing Arena
Bukom Boxing Arena

The Korle Bu Police in Accra has declared the Bukom Boxing Arena a crime scene to allow for investigations into crowd violence which characterised the WBO Africa super bantamweight title fight between Isaac Sackey and Wasiru ‘Gyatabi’ Mohammed last Saturday.

Irate fans damaged chairs and other property at the venue in protest against Beninois referee Adorn Bertin's decision to stop the fight after Sackey had been knocked down by Wasiru in the third round.

As part of criminal investigations instituted by the police into circumstances which led to the crowd violence, the arena has been cordoned off and it is unclear if the venue will be available for this Saturday’s WBO Africa lightweight championship fight between Emmanuel Tagoe and Namibia's Moses Paulus.

Confirming the takeover of the facility to the Daily Graphic on Tuesday, Mr Yoofi Boham, the technical advisor of E&J Promotions, the promoters of last Saturday’s bout, said the police had taken interest in the violent conduct of some fans at the arena.

Accordingly, the police has demanded video footages of the incident to enable it to effect arrest of identifiable perpetrators for subsequent prosecution.

The veteran promoter noted also that the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) was keen on ensuring that anyone found culpable, including its own officials, would not escape punishment.

"As I speak to you now, the Korle Bu Police are pursuing the case and are ready to arrest perpetrators of the act during the Wasiru and Sackey fight.

"The police have subsequently declared the venue a crime scene, with nobody allowed to visit the place because it serves as evidence in their investigations," Mr Boham said.

Meanwhile, E&J Promotions and Trust Sports Emporium Limited (TSEL), managers of the arena,  have apologised to patrons of last Saturday’s fight which ended in chaos.

In a statement TSEL said: “The Trust Sports Emporium abhors crowd violence and unsportsmanlike behaviour like what happened on Saturday night.

"The TSEL is working together with the police, the Ghana Boxing Authority and the event organisers to identify the causes, so they can prevent a recurrence in future and also the culprits so they can be prosecuted."

The promoters in a statement yesterday also offered an unqualified apology to the management of the facility, boxing fans and sponsors for the chaotic end of the main bout.