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02.09.2003 Football News

Water and alcohol prohibited at stadiums

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Accra, Sept. 2 - GNA - The National Sports Council (NSC) has banned the sale of water and alcohol at all stadiums which host league matches, beginning from Wednesday, September 3.

Dr Emmanuel Owusu Ansah, Acting Chief Executive of the NSC said the ban has become necessary in view of the fact that spectators use the containers as weapons to inflict harm on opposing fans, match officials and players of teams they do not support.

He said it has been established that some people freeze sachets of water into ice blocks, making them very potent weapons against defenceless, law -biding citizens who become easy targets without any provocation.

The Chief Executive said an inspection of the May 9 Stand, after the rioting by irate supporters on Sunday, revealed that some bottles were also thrown at the police and onto the tartan tracks, thereby necessitating the renewed ban of alcohol in line with the recommendations of the Okudzeto Commission.

He said though the ban had been in force since the stadium tragedy in 2001, people smuggle in and sell alcohol during matches, making the fans who consume them, more aggressive than they would otherwise have been.

Dr Owusu Ansah said henceforth, all spectators to the various league centres will be searched because it was established that some fans have been going to the stadiums with daggers and warned those who do so to desist from it to avoid being prosecuted.

The Acting Chief Executive said the NSC is in close collaboration with the police to eliminate violence from the stadiums, adding that any trouble-shooter caught will not be spared but dealt with in line with the provisions of the law.

Bagged water, popularly referred to as 'pure water' is often thrown at match officials, especially the assistant referees on the lines, officials and players of opposing teams during matches at the Accra an Kumasi sports stadiums.

The 'water battle' once again took centre stage on Sunday when Hearts hosted Kotoko in an ill tempered 18th week Kinapharma premier league match on Sunday.

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