Police, GFA to fight hooliganism, match-fixing

BY: Emelia Ennin Abbey
 Dr George Akuffo Dampare (arrowed), with the leadership of the Ghana Football Association and club officials after the meeting in Accra
Dr George Akuffo Dampare (arrowed), with the leadership of the Ghana Football Association and club officials after the meeting in Accra

The Police Administration and the Ghana Football Association (GFA) has initiated steps to fight hooliganism and match-fixing in the sports sector.

In line with the decision, the two bodies are to set up a task force which will be tasked to deal with the canker.

This was made known after a meeting between the Inspector General of the Ghana Police Service (IGP), Dr George Akuffo Dampare, the leadership of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and the Chief Executive Officers of the various football clubs last Friday.

Passion

The president of the GFA, Mr Kurt E.S. Okraku, commended the police administration for initiating measures to ensure sanity in the football eco-system in Ghana.

He said football controls the hearts of close to 30 million Ghanaians. “We are very passionate about our sports. Football is the only sport that is consumed in 211 countries across the globe and that tells how important and how strong the sporting enterprise is.”

He said as a result of the passion associated with football and how it controls the hearts and minds of the people, it is always possible that people could go wayward when games do not meet their expectations.

He recounted some unpleasant incidents, saying, “I remember the incident at the Baba Yara Stadium; I remember in 2001 the bad incident at the Accra Sports Stadium and l also remember the incident of the last 2020/2021 football season when some people decided to go wayward.”

He proposed the setting up of a police sporting unit that would be dedicated to sporting issues, explaining that sports policing was distinct from the traditional policing .

“In other jurisdictions, we have sports policing units within the main Police Service and that tells how important sports policing is since football, as part of sports, controls the hearts of millions of people,“ he noted.

He pleaded with the police administration to strictly enforce the laws when people who break the laws were arrested.

Police briefing

Briefing journalists after the meeting, the Director General of the Public Affairs Directorate of the Police Service, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mr Kwesi Ofori said the objective of the police-GFA engagement was to come up with solutions on how the two bodies could collaborate to protect lives and property at the various stadia across the country.

He said the police was prepared to confront violence and disturbances at the stadia and deal with the perpetrators according to the law.

He said a number of proactive security measures would be taken to deal with persons who misconducted themselves at the stadium, as well as those who engaged in match-fixing, match manipulations and other corrupt practices in the football sector.

“Our intelligence department would be placed at the disposal of the GFA and the Ghana Police Service Public Relation Department will be engaging in public education in collaboration with the media to sensitise the public on some of the issues raised,” he added.