Mr Isaac Kwame Asiamah, Minister of Youth and Sports, has called on football fans to act maturely at the various stadia to avert any unfortunate incident that can plunder the nation into mourning.
According to him, football was to be enjoyed and not to create an atmosphere of hooliganism and vandalism, that caused the May 9 disaster in 2001, which saw about 127 fans losing their lives at the Accra Sports Stadium in a football match between arch-rivals Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko.
Mr Asiamah made this known in Accra on Thursday, May 9, during the commemoration of the 18th anniversary since the disaster, at the Accra Sports Stadium. “Eighteen (18) years is a maturity year, let us be mature in our actions at our stadia and comport ourselves well to avert any havoc or disaster,” he added.
He noted that the Ministry was liaising with the right bodies and authorities to apply the right sanctions to persons or people who perpetrate crime at the various stadia.
“Football is a universal language and has the tendency of bringing people together, it is a game to be enjoyed and played in harmony, not in violence.
“We still have people who are bent on destroying the game that can bring development to the nation and we are liaising with the right and appropriate bodies to give out punishment to people who cause troubles at any stadia when caught.
This year’s commemoration started with a demonstration by the National Ambulance Service on how to save victims in a stampede or recovery of a collapsed victim, before a wreath-laying by the Sports Minister and also from representatives of Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko as well as family members of victims of the disaster.