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May 9 disaster: A 22-year dark cloud still hovering over Ghana’s football legacy



On May 9, 2001, some 126 football fans at the Accra Sports Stadium lost their lives with many more injured in what was and still is Ghana and Africa’s biggest stadium disaster.

22 years on, the memory of the day still remains with people in different ways with an annual reminder that never again should we reach that precipice in Ghanaian football again.

Recalling the event

On May 9, 2001, two of Ghana’s most successful football clubs, Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko met in a league match at the Accra Sports Stadium in another episode of their intense rivalry.

With the game starting at 5 pm, the Accra Sports Stadium was full at 10 am, according to Joseph Wilson Sey, who officiated the game.

After a goalless first half, Lawrence Adjei shocked the home side, Accra Hearts of Oak, in the 60th minute of the game with a nice strike to give Kotoko the lead.

The Phobians equalised through Ishmael Addo 17 minutes after the opener, and they went 2-1 up with just 10 minutes left to play as Addo grabbed his second goal of the day.

However, the goal did not sit well with the Kotoko fans, as they argued that the goal should have been ruled out as Addo was thought to have been offside.

According to Joseph Wilson Sey, his decision to allow the goal to stand was accurate and the fans did not have to react the way they did.

“People say my assistant raised his flag, yes he did. But for a different infringement. The infringement was for the same attacker but they already had the advantage.

The laws of the game say you should play on, so I allowed the game to continue and the assistant brought his flag down.

And where this gentleman moved to pick the ball had nothing to do with a foul. By law, everything was perfect. He picked the ball and scored.

Yes, some people made noise, but it ended and we continued the game.

I did nothing wrong and I have no guilt. I feel bad someone losing their father, brother but the blame that we triggered the event is totally false,” Wilson disclosed in an interview with TV3 three years ago.

Some angry Kotoko fans broke portions of the plastic seats at the stadium and threw them onto the running tracks and the field, disrupting the game.

The police responded by firing canisters of tear gas towards the upset fans in a bid to stop their actions.

In turn, the fans tried running away from the tear gas in order to find relief and that led to some major problems on the ground.

With the gates of the stadium locked and medical officers not found, the hour-long chaos led to the death of 116 people due to comprehensive asphyxia (chest compression) i.e. the inability to breathe.

Ten other deaths were later recorded.


The Ghana Police Service was blamed by some sections of the public for the incident as it was reported that the security service over-reacted leading to misbehaviour and indiscriminate actions.

The Sam Okudzeto Commission of Inquiry, which was set up by the then-Ghana president, John Agyekum Kufuor, to look into the carnage, fingered six police officers and recommended their prosecution.

All six officers – Chief Superintendent of Police, Koranteng Mintah, ASP Faakyi Kumi, ASP Frank Awuah, ASP Frank Aryee, ASP John Naami and ASP B.B. Bakomora – were each charged with 127 counts of manslaughter, but were later acquitted after a submission of no case was upheld by a court.

The commission of inquiry recommended improvements at the various stadia in the country such as security and first aid facilities, and that nationwide rapid response teams should be set up.


Years after, the Accra Sports Stadium has seen various renovations and improvements with a major uplift done prior to the hosting of the AFCON 2008. The upgrades included more exits to help fans leave the stadium in a rush without any issues if the need ever came up.

The current GFA, headed by Kurt E.S Okraku, has over the years run a series of campaigns to sound home the warning that hooliganism has no place in football.

The then Chairman of Kumasi Asante Kotoko, Herbert Mensah, has memorialized that tragedy with a fund, the Stadium Disaster Fund and other series of events.

In 2016, an annual Memorial “May 9th Cup” was set created to mark the day and symbolize an event which must never happen again.

With these lessons running, some football fans still engage in these distasteful acts of hooliganism with the most recent happening in April when Tamale City players and officials were attacked after their game against Betpawa Ghana Premier League leaders, Aduana Stars.

The Disciplinary Committee of the Ghana Football Association in their sanctions imposed a fine of GHC 20,000 on Aduana Stars and a home venue ban after they were found guilty of misconduct, in their Match Week 25 betPawa Premier League encounter, against Tamale City at the Nana Agyeman Badu Park.

As today marks the 22nd anniversary of the disaster, we, from Citi Sports say “NEVER SHOULD THIS HAPPEN AGAIN”.

Eye witness to any social issue, occurance or any form of information you would like to share, kindly send via Email : or WhatsApp : 0553506856 / 0246319949


Gov’t to restrict importation of rice, ‘yemuadie’ and other products



The government is set to lay before Parliament today, November 21, a Constitutional Instrument (C.I) seeking to restrict the importation of selected strategic products into the country.

The items, numbering over 20, will include rice, tripe (popularly called “yemuadie” in Ghana), and diapers.

The government said the move is part of efforts to enhance local production.

Speaking during a press briefing in Parliament, the Minister of Trade and Industry, K.T Hammond said, “Stomach of animals, bladder and the chunk of intestines (yemuadie), the country had had to put in an amount of about $164 million towards the importation of these items. We are taking steps to ensure that in terms of rice, there’s no poverty of rice in the country.”

He emphasized, “By these restrictions, we are not going to ensure that there’s no food in the country at all; that is not the point at all. There have to be some efforts by the government to ensure that we go back to Acheampong’s operation feed yourself. There are about 22 items on the list, one of them, I think, is diapers.”

He announced the introduction of the Ghana Standards Authority Regulations 2023, which also seeks to streamline the manufacturing of cement to ensure competitive pricing.

Eye witness to any social issue, occurance or any form of information you would like to share, kindly send via Email : or WhatsApp : 0553506856 / 0246319949
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Mahama doesn’t understand 24hr economy; don’t vote for him – Bawumia



Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says former President John Dramani Mahama does not understand the 24-hour economy policy he is proposing.

According to the Vice President, that policy is already being implemented in the country, as hospitals, fuel companies, among others, operate a 24-hour system.

Dr. Bawumia, therefore, urged Ghanaians to ignore Mahama during the 2024 polls since he has nothing new to offer and vote for the New Patriotic Party.

“John Mahama says he has a new idea. What is the idea? He says he wants a 24-hour economy. He doesn’t even understand that policy. Today in Ghana, our hospitals work 24 hours, our electricity company works 24 hours, our water company works 24 hours, our fuel stations work 24 hours, and many chop bars work 24 hours. Today because of digitalisation, you can transfer money 24 hours, you can receive money 24 hours… So he doesn’t understand his own policy. It doesn’t make sense.”

“So I want you to vote for me in 2024 because I will bring a new vision, I will bring a new policy. Mahama is the past, Dr Bawumia is the future. If John Mahama was there, we would say we have a dumsor economy, you can’t have a 24-hour economy in dumsor. So, you want to vote for Dr Bawumia in 2024, we will take the country to new heights,” Dr Bawumia stated.

Eye witness to any social issue, occurance or any form of information you would like to share, kindly send via Email : or WhatsApp : 0553506856 / 0246319949
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Bagbin rebukes IMF over alleged pressure to pass some bills under certificate of urgency



The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has accused the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of pressuring the House to pass a number of bills under a certificate of urgency.

Mr. Bagbin cited bills such as the Affirmative Action Bill, which is allegedly being pushed by the IMF as part of the conditionality for the balance of the $3 billion credit facility for Ghana.

Speaking at the Speaker’s Breakfast Meeting on Monday, Alban Bagbin insisted that the House will not be coerced by the IMF to pass the bill.

“Even in this budget, you can see the arm of the IMF in a lot of provisions in the budget. A critical bill like the Affirmative Action Gender Equality Bill has come to Parliament under a certificate of urgency. Please, it won’t happen; we won’t pass it under a certificate of urgency.”

“There are critical stakeholders we must consult and make sure we go together. We will not be dictated by the IMF; that one, you can be assured. This is a very critical bill that the IMF should know that we need the buy-in of the stakeholders to be able to implement it,” Alban Bagbin said.

The Affirmative Action Bill, when passed into law, would seek to expunge the historically low representation of women in decision-making spaces and promote democracy and development through all-inclusive participation.

Eye witness to any social issue, occurance or any form of information you would like to share, kindly send via Email : or WhatsApp : 0553506856 / 0246319949
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