FAMILIES MARK 14TH ANNIVERSARY OF 'MAY 9' TOMORROW.
Sons and daughters as well as families and well-wishers of the hundred and twenty ardent soccer fans who met their untimely death at the Accra Sports Stadium on May 9, 2001 after a soccer match between the fabulous Asante Kotoko and the glorious Hearts of Oak will mark the 14th anniversary of the stadium disaster in Kumasi tomorrow May 9, 2015.
Speaking in an interview with the former Chairman of Asante Kotoko about the preparations ahead of the event, Mr Herbert Mensah outlined the program for the occasion and indicated that this year's anniversary will be held in Kumasi for the very first time.
He said, over the years himself and with the kind support of some loyal friends of his have tried not to forget or burry the memories of those 120 soccer faithfuls and hence the yearly commemorations.
The former Kotoko Boss said, as part of the commemoration day this year, he found the need to bring the families of the deceased fans in Kumasi to join those in Accra last Wednesday for familiarization and a get-together ahead of the Saturday event after which some donations were made to the individual families who were present at the function.
On the question of how he feels now and then about the incident after 14 years Mr. Mensah answered saying that he still has a photographic memory of the incident and it almost feels as though it happened yesterday anytime he thinks about it.
He recounted that he was almost half way home after the match when phone call came through to inform him about the commotion in the stadium after the match and upon his return back to the stadium he met the horror of dead bodies lying helplessly on top of one another with blood dripping all over the place from hanging dead bodies and injured fans as a result of the stampede which occurred after the
Police had fired tear gas to disperse the fans after the match but unfortunately the exit gate was shut and the fans couldn't get out and hence the stampede which claimed the lives of those soccer faithfuls.
The former Kotoko Boss also pitied the situation whereby upon his arrival at the scene he called the national security and the police for help but they never turned up until after what happened had occurred already before they showed up when it was too little and too late.
Mr. Mensah however ceased the opportunity to admonish soccer fans and to exercise some moderation in their actions whilst acknowledging the fact that soccer has and will always be like that and the passion that comes with it are uncontrollable sometimes.
Series of programs lined up includes a Muslim worship at mosque today Friday 8th may 2015, followed by a health walk on Saturday May 9, 2015 through some principal streets of Kumasi and then the climax will a series of football matches later in the day and of course the families of the victims will also receive some packages.