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11.02.2005 Football News

May 9 stand chairs re-fixed

By GhanaWeb Correspondent
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Accra, Feb 10, GNA - The National Sports Council (NSC) has replaced the 301 plastic chairs ripped off by irate supporters of Kumasi Asante Kotoko during their abortive Coca Cola Top Four opening match against Kpando Heart of Lions at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium in Accra last month.

The replacement cost to be borne by the Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA), organizers of the competition totalled a little over a 100 million cedis. Mr Albert Agbozo, Acting Chief Executive of the Council told the GNA Sports that the decision to restore the chairs was influenced by their quest to provide maximum comfort at the stadium with GHALCA paying only a quarter of the total cost. Each chair according to the Chief Executive was priced at 35 dollars.

He said the Sports Council was awaiting GHALCA's promise to make good their part of the agreement with regards to the payment to enable the Council channel the resources for other development programmes. Mr Agbozo told the GNA Sports that plans are far advanced for the NSC to liaise with the Castle security to step up security measures at the stadium in order to clamp down on hooligans who throng the arena.

"We are keen on protecting the state's property and would do everything within our means to achieve this. It is unacceptable for any supporter to take the law into his hands in the name of passion and we intend putting such supporters to their rightful place before the worst happens".

Angry fans of Kotoko rioted in the said game after referee Joseph O Lamptey pointed to the spot after Issah Ahmed fouled advancing Sadat Bukari in the penalty box with only three minutes left for play. The infuriated Kotoko supporters seated at the May 9 Stands in protest tore and hurled the plastic chairs unto the tartan tracks, an incident that sharply brought back memories of the May 9 disaster that resulted in the death of 127 soccer fans.

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