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14.10.2008 Football News

The Ghana-Lesotho qualifier at EssipongFinancial loss to the state

By Kofi Owusu Aduonum - Ghanaian Chronicle

Ghana lost several millions of Cedis when the senior national soccer side, the Black Stars hosted the Crocodiles at the Essipong Stadium in their World Cup decider last Saturday.

Not only did the nation lose huge sums of money, but the large turn out nearly resulted in another May 9 mayhem.

Me and my big mouth investigations indicates that the 20,000-seater Stadium was half full as early as 6:30am on the match day, and was full to capacity by 11am.

The situation compelled the numerous fans outside the Stadium, who according reports outnumbered the Stadium's seating capacity, managed to muscle their way into the stadium, which led to the collapse of the main gate.

Not even the heavy presence of the security personnel was able to manage the unruly crowd, who were desperately dying to catch a glimpse of the Stars, who were playing at the Essipong Stadium for the first time since its construction.

What nearly resulted in another May 9 disaster, has stirred this writer to question our 'big men' why they chose the 20,000-seater for a crucial and important game as the final decider, while the more spacious ones -Ohene Djan and Baba Yara were lying fallow.

If what me and big mouth is hearing is true, that those outside the stadium were far more than those inside the stadium, then the organizers have done the nation a great disservice by losing so much money through gate proceeds.

Reports are that Asante Kotoko recorded a mouth watering ¢1.billion gross profit, when they hosted Hearts of Oak in their Onetouch premier league tie.

For me, our 'big men' should have envisaged the magnitude of the game and should have relocated the game either to the spacious Baba Yara or the Ohene Djan Stadium.

I can understand them to some extent, since there was a public outcry by the Sekondi fans when the FA announced a change of match venue from the original venue of Essipong.

That notwithstanding, the 'big men' should have thought through this anomaly and stuck to their ground, this way they would have been laughing all the way to the bank.