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Sports News of Friday, 3 October 2003

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Koufie Rips Into Okudjeto Report

The Chairman of the Ghana Football Association Mr. Ben Koufie says any perception that the football authorities are acting against Accra Hearts of Oak is the result of the poor work done by the Okudjeto Commission that looked into the May 9 Disaster.

Koufie told the state-owned Graphic Sports newspaper that : I cannot understand that the Commission could not use video evidence and pick some of the May 9 trouble makers for prosecution. But there is nothing I can do about that because we were not in office when the tragedy occurred.

The Commission which was headed by former Ghana Bar Association President Sam Okudjeto was appointed by President Kuffour to investigate the May 9 Stadium disaster which killed 126 football fans in 2001.

The Mayhem occurred when police used teargas to disperse rioting fans after a match between Hearts-Kotoko, which Hearts won 2-1 in Accra. Hearts fans have insisted since then that the Commission overlooked the action of fans whose rioting with chairs sparked off the violence.

Mr. Koufie said because the Okudjeto Commission let off the fans, most of whom belonged to Kotoko, Hearts fans have concluded have come to belive that the present football administration is against them.

The view gained grounds after some Hearts fans were prosecuted for rioting after a recent league match between the two sides. But the FA Chairman warned against dragging a game as passionate as football, into partisan politics. “This is even more dangerous when it involves clubs with such numbers and diversity as Hearts and Kotoko.”

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