On Monday, 10th May 2021, some of the victims of the 2001 May 9 stadium disaster paid a courtesy call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House, the seat of the nation’s presidency.
Nana Akufo-Addo commiserated with the persons who were involved in the incident, and reiterated the government’s commitment, through the Ministry of Youth and Sports, to ensure that this disaster does not occur again in Ghanaâ€™s history.
What happened on May 9TH 2001?
Ghana’s two rival football teams – Accra Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko – played at the Accra sports stadium on that day.
Officials anticipated crowd disturbances and had taken extra security measures.
Accra Hearts of Oak scored two late goals to beat Kotoko 2-1.
The Kotoko fans blamed the referee for poor officiating and resorted to throwing plastic seats and bottles onto the pitch.
The police responded by firing tear gas into the crowd.
Panic and a stampede ensued as fans tried to escape.
Gates were locked and the stadium’s compromised design left a bottleneck, with fewer exits than originally planned.
Reports claim that medical staff had already left the stadium, as the incident happened near the end of the match. Some gates were locked, preventing escape.
A fan, Abdul Mohammed had passed out from the tear gas and was moved to a morgue, thought to be dead. He regained consciousness after someone stepped on his foot, narrowly missing being buried alive.
A hundred and twenty-six football fans died making it the worst stadium disaster to have ever taken place in Africa.