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09.05.2007 Sports News

Ghana plods on

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Ghana plods on

Wednesday marks exactly six years to the day since Africa's worst football stadium tragedy occurred in Ghana.

On 9 May 2001, 126 supporters lost their lives on a Wednesday evening while attending a league match between rivals, Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko at the Accra Sports Stadium in the Ghanaian capital, Accra.

The sporting fraternity would be remembering this day on the quite.

However, the Ghana Football Association solemnly marks the day with a touching statement that calls for a change in attitude and greater tolerance.

“Six years on, we are still inspired by selfless acts of courage. We must sustain our generosity in reaching out to those affected by this tragedy. We must continue to teach the attitudes of respect, fairness and tolerance that call us to reject hate, revenge, and violence,” the FA's statement read.

Police officers fired tear gas into the stand in their efforts to control rioting Kotoko fans after Hearts overturned a one-goal deficit to lead 2-1 rather ended the lives of 126 fans who were crashed to death while attempting to escape.

The loss of lives saw Ghana and the Accra sports stadium record Africa's worst football tragedy on the 9th of May.

But six year's afterwards, the nation has moved on while trying to erase the scars of the tragedy.

Below is the Ghana Football Association's official statement marking the day:
May 9th Remembered. Never Again!!

What this date now represents has changed our lives, our nation, our sport and our passion. May 9th has become a symbol of deep loss, of great sacrifice and of challenges we continue to face as a people.

We know the wounds are deep and will not be quickly or easily healed. The death of so many innocent people from different walks of life and from diverse backgrounds requires us to act as a people and to offer continuing consolation and support as a people.

The loss of life whether in a red, yellow or blue apparel, men, women and children also weighs heavily on us. Our faith tells us that every life is precious whether a person supported Asante Kotoko or Accra Hearts of Oak.

Six years on, we are still inspired by selfless acts of courage. We must sustain our generosity in reaching out to those affected by this tragedy. We must continue to teach the attitudes of respect, fairness and tolerance that call us to reject hate, revenge and violence.

On this May 9th, we join all Ghanaians throughout the country to offer prayers and support to the affected families.

The events of the Accra Sports stadium disaster on May 9th 2001, has taught our country a great lesson around public safety and security.

On this solemn anniversary, let's rededicate ourselves to this cause. Our nation has endured trials, and we face a difficult road ahead. Let's lead Ghana football into a shining age of great tolerance.

Never again should we stand divided.

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