Police assures public of peaceful football matches
Accra, Jan. 01, GNA - Nana Stephen Owusu-Nsiah, Inspector General of Police on Friday assured fans and spectators of Sunday's CAF Confederation Cup finals match that adequate security measures have been put in place to forestall any untoward acts during and after the match between archrivals Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko. The match, which would be played at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium in Accra is the first leg final match of the competition.
Nana Owusu-Nsiah was speaking at a media briefing in Accra to outline the Police preparedness for the two matches. " This is because matches between these two giant clubs of the country have of late raised security concerns. And this has a bearing on the May 9 stadium disaster."
He said over 1,200 security personnel have been detailed to ensure peace in and around the sports stadium, while several plain-clothes ones would be placed among the spectators to identify trouble makers for their immediate arrest.
The Inspector General of Police said security cameras would also be used to capture activities of fans and these would be used as evidence against any hooligans during prosecution while thorough bodily searches would be conducted on persons entering the stadium to stop any unauthorised weapons.
Nana Owusu-Nsiah said arrested hooligans would be kept in police custody and arraigned before court the next day. He urged supporters of both teams to comport themselves since the police would be there to protect them.
The Police Chief however cautioned the security personnel to be civil and act professionally in their duties, " We expect high disciplinary standards from you to prove to the nation and the world that Ghana can boast of disciplined supporters and security forces who can be relied upon".
He said that similar security arrangements would be replicated in the next match that would be played at the Kumasi Sports Stadium the following Sunday.
Nana Owusu-Nsiah said Ghanaians have demonstrated their maturity in the just-ended general elections which was held peacefully and there was therefore the need to further demonstrate to the world through sports that the country was truly peaceful.
" We should not allow this unique occasion which will further project the good image of this nation to be marred by a few hooligans". He noted that the country's chances of winning the bid to host the CAN 2008 would be boosted by the success of these two-leg matches. He urged supporters of the two clubs to understand that football was a game played between friends and not enemies, " It is not a war that we fight with enemies. These CAF football matches should therefore further entrench the peaceful atmosphere existing in the country and confirm to the whole world that when it comes to politics, Ghana is matured and superb in sports."
Nana Owusu-Nsiah advised motorists who may be celebrating after the match to obey traffic regulations since they would not be spared when caught by the law.