Ministry of Youth and Sports holds ceremony to remember May 9 Stadium Disaster
Ministry of Youth and Sports holds ceremony to remember May 9 Stadium Disaster

23rd anniversary of May 9 Stadium Disaster commemorated in Accra

The Ministry of Youth and Sports yesterday held a solemn ceremony at the Accra Sports Stadium to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the May 9 Stadium Disaster.


The commemorative event took place on the forecourt of the stadium, the venue where 127 football fans tragically lost their lives during a league match between Accra Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko in 2001.

The ceremony served as a reminder of the devastating event while highlighting the importance of prioritizing safety in sports.

Speaking during the event, the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Kurt Okraku, said making football venues safe will be the biggest tribute to the 127 football fans who lost their lives on May 9, 2001.

He said since that tragedy, the government, the National Sports Authority and the GFA had taken decisive steps to protect lives, football, sports and public property.

"Indeed, 23 years down the line, football facilities have improved, regulations of football have improved and our strict compliance to club licensing is ongoing as we continue to educate our key stakeholders on how to behave at football grounds," Mr. Okraku said.

Mr. Okraku said despite this, pockets of violence at football venues showed that there was still a lot of work to be done.

He urged all stakeholders to work together to reverse the damage the May 9 tragedy caused with regards to spectators watching local football games.

For his part, the Minister of Youth and Sports Mustapha Ussif said the commemorative event was an important "reminder to ensure that such a horrific event does not mar our national sports ever again".

Mr. Ussif highlighted the strides made in implementing safety protocols at stadiums across Ghana. He stressed the ongoing collaboration with stakeholders to further enhance fan safety and prevent future tragedies.

The Minister condemned hooliganism and unruly behavior, urging football clubs to actively discourage such actions among their supporters.

He also revealed that the Ministry was working with its partners to establish sports fans insurance. This initiative aims to provide support and assistance in the event of future incidents.

Mr. Ussif also expressed gratitude to all stakeholders, particularly the victims' families, for their ongoing commitment to safety at sporting events.

The Deputy Director General of the National Sports Authority, Mr. Majeed Bawa, said the government had implemented the white paper and recommendations of the Okudzeto Commission report to ensure that the event was not repeated.

He said these included providing multiple exits to sporting venues and educating sports fans as well as administrators about the dangers of hooliganism.

He urged the Ghana Football Association to implement sanctions for hooliganism to the letter to ensure that it serves as a deterrent to perpetrators.

In separate solidarity statements, the Managing Director Accra Hearts of Oak, Dr. Delali Anku-Adiamah and the representative of Kumasi Asante Kotoko, Nana Kwame Dankwa, committed to ensuring that the tragedy never happens again.

Providing an update of the status of the May 9 Disaster Fund which was created to cater for the educational needs of the children of persons who died in the tragedy, the Secretary of the fund, Mr Christopher Annan, said the fund will be closed later this year after the last batch of beneficiaries complete their tertiary education.

He said the trustees of the fund will be presenting a final report detailing how the funds were expended to government in July.

Connect With Us : 0242202447 | 0551484843 | 0266361755 | 059 199 7513 |

Like what you see?

Hit the buttons below to follow us, you won't regret it...