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07.04.2009 Sports News

Chief Executive of National Sports Council relieved of post

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The Chief Executive Officer of the National Sports Council (NSC) Prince Ernest Oduro-Mensah has been relieved of his post with immediate effect.

The removal of the former Member of Parliament for Techiman South forms part of Government's action after studying the report and recommendations of the five-member committee set-up to investigate circumstances following the incidents during a league match between Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak on February 8 at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.

Four persons lost their lives and over 400 persons sustained various degrees of injuries due to overcrowding at the 40,000-capacity stadium.

Presenting details of Government's actions on the recommendations of the Committee in Accra on Monday, Alhaji Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, Minister of Youth and Sports said his outfit's decision was motivated by their quest to prevent future occurrences.

The Committee's report found the National Sports Council Boss culpable for his involvement in certain incidents during the said match.

Prince Oduro-Mensah who doubles as the Risk Manager of the stadium was alleged to have interfered with the Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) at the Baba Yara Stadium, which had captured most of the happenings of the day at the stadium.

“For interfering with the CCTV facility at the Baba Yara Stadium, which has led to the damage of the system and also as the overall co-ordinator of the event and more so as the Risk Manager as per policy, Prince Oduro-Mensah should take overall responsibility of the events of Sunday, February 8, 2009 when he in particular was present on the day.

“Prince Oduro-Mensah has accordingly been relieved of his position as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Sports Council. In addition, He will be surcharged with the cost of repairs of the CCTV which was damaged as a result of his directive,” Alhaji Mubarak said.

In a related development, the Regional Sports Development Officer, Mr Kofi Doku-Duodu has also been given a week from April 6, 2009 to resign for showing gross incompetence in handling events during the match day.

Government has also recommended that Deputy Accountant of the National Sports Council, Mr J. H. Arthur should proceed on leave for his inability to account for 699 tickets identified as shortages, for a proper audit to be conducted.

It has also directed the Police Administration to set up an internal investigation to help identify a police officer in mufti, who mis-conducted himself at the main gate with Superintendent Antwi-Boasiako and DSP V.O. Abrakwa as principal witnesses.

Also for failing to identify the said official, Superintendent Antwi-Boasiako and DSP V.O. Abrokwa should be interdicted for failing to identify the police officer and their inability to provide the names of personnel detailed at their duty post.

William des-Bordes, a Kumasi-based Radio Presenter who acted as Master of Ceremony (MC) during the match has been banned for a period of one year as MC at any stadium in Ghana for making uncomplimentary remarks that could have incited fans at the stadium.

The Minister of Youth and Sports pledged Government's commitment towards making the various stadia incident-free while urging the media and fans to expose practices by officials that can cause recurrence of such unfortunate incidents in the country.

Alhaji Mubarak said the Attorney General's office would be requested to determine appropriate compensation packages to the four bereaved families since, he noted, the deaths of the sports fans occurred as a result of negligence of duty by the security on duty at the stadium.

The Committee was constituted by James Marshall, Welbeck Abrah-Appiah (Chairman of the Premier League Board), Dr Kofi Asafo Adjei, ACP George Mensah and Mohammed Alhassan.


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