May 9 disaster commemoration is GFA’s biggest tribute to those who died – Kurt Okraku

May 9 disaster commemoration is GFA’s biggest tribute to those who died – Kurt Okraku

President of the Ghana Football Association, Kurt Okraku says the football governing body’s biggest tribute to the lost souls in the May 9, 2001, football disaster at the Accra Sports Stadium is the continued reminder of the day.

In a statement on the 23rd anniversary of the incident christened ‘Black Wednesday’ due to the demise of 127 football fans at the stadium during a Ghana Premier League match involving Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko, Mr Okraku noted that the commemorative events “…serve as constant reminders that our continuing efforts to rid Ghana Football of hooliganism and make our stadiums safe are the biggest tribute we can pay to those who unfortunately died and those who were scarred by the events of May 9th, 2021.”

 

Full Kurt Okraku statement below

Twenty-three years ago, on May 9th, 2001, thousands of vibrant men and women converged at the Accra Sports Stadium to witness the nation’s biggest local league fixture – Accra Hearts of Oak versus Kumasi Asante Kotoko.

 Twenty – three years ago, millions of football enthusiasts sat glued to their television sets watching in horror as barely a few minutes after that absorbing contest ended, news of rising deaths from a stampede at the stadium started filtering through. At last official count, one hundred and twenty-seven football fans were reported to have lost their lives in what came to be known as the May 9th Disaster.

 Year in, year out, the football fraternity and its friends huddle together to honour the memory of the dearly departed and to share strength with the families they left behind and those who sustained injuries on that dark day in Ghana’s football history.

 For us, at the Ghana Football Association, these commemorative events serve as constant reminders that our continuing efforts to rid Ghana Football of hooliganism and make our stadiums safe is the biggest tribute we can pay to those who unfortunately died and those who were scarred by the events of May 9th, 2021. Their sacrifice will be meaningless if we relent in this endeavour.

 As we commemorate that day, our thoughts and players remain with all who were affected by the May 9th Disaster. We pray for continuing comfort for us all as we remain resolute in our faith in the Almighty. May the souls of our dearly departed brothers and sisters continue to rest in perfect peace.

 

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