Ghana football fell into obscured darkness exactly 21yrs ago at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium, Accra, between fierce rivals Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko.
The Super clash as it’s been called, witnessed a horrific atmosphere of stinks of death due to a misunderstanding between the Kotoko fans and the officiator of the match for allowing a goal from Hearts of Oak to stand, which generates fury from the fans of Kotoko. The Kotoko fans reacts with rage which results in the destruction of stadium infrastructure and throwing of bottles onto the pitch.
The Police responds by firing plastic bullets and of course, tear gas evasion into the crowd of over 40, 000 fans. This caused a great stampede and deadly crash of lives and properties.
The torrential blaze of deaths secured a name for the stadium by the Ghana Institute of Architects, as , “death trap”, because the main gates were all locked during the match, with the minor gates opened.
This disaster really defaced Ghana football for years. In fact, it is the worst stadium disaster ever to occur on the Afraican terrain; recording 127 deaths, with 117 dying instantly and other 10 dying traumatised.
Other stadium disasters to graze the African soil may include:
Zamalek Stadium, Egypt, (1974, 48-50 deaths), Oppenheimer Stadium, South Africa, (1991 42 deaths), Ellis Park, South Africa, (2001, 43 deaths), Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny, Ivory Coast, (2009, 19 deaths), Port Said Stadium, Egypt, (2012(74 deaths), 30 June Stadium, Egypt, (2015, 28 deaths), Bingu Stadium, Malawi, (2017, 8 deaths), FNB Stadium, South Africa, (2017, 2 seriously injured).
This shows clearly, that the May 9th stadium disaster in Ghana is the most savagery, which yields a great toll on the continents football.
The whole stampede and crashes stood for a whole one hour long; a very long time to record higher number of deaths.
The Minister of Youth and Sports then reiterates that this event is devastating and bloody, with piles of dead bodies all over the stadium ground.
The event really is a blow to Ghana football, as the Stadium closes down temporarily. The stadium was renovated in 2007 according to FIFA regulations.
The nation eulogize with the family and the victims on this special day of hell in a stadium. May you be comforted and remembered by God and by the state.
A chant was composed by the fans, scripted, “Never Again, Never Again”, which is to mean, No More Killing.
Truly, peace and tranquility has prevailed in the Ghana football, bringing back the glory and beauty of the nations most patronized sport.
Enoch Nana Yaw Dei Lartey.