Sports News of Tuesday, 26 March 2002

Source: Daily Graphic

Victims to share 2.8 billion cedis - in May, this year

Disbursement of more than 2.8 billion cedis to victims of the Accra Stadium tragedy will coincide with the first anniversary of the incident which falls on May 9. The modalities are being worked out to ensure equitable disbursement of the funds.

Mr Ferdinand Ayim, the Special Assistant to the Minister of Information and Presidential Affairs, who made this known in an interview in Accra yesterday, said the government is concerned about the plight of the victims of the tragedy, and has advised their relatives to bear with it.

He said donations made by individuals and institutions to the Accra Disaster Relief Management Fund amounted to 2.8billion cedis, but as a demonstration of its commitment to its social responsibility, the government has decided to provide more money to the fund for disbursement to the victims or their relatives.

He said so far 241 dependants of those who died have been identified and screened out of which 129 are children. Mr Ayim said the government demonstrated its commitment to the families of the victims by providing 2.5million cedis to each of the families of the deceased for the burial and funeral expenses and also took care of the medical expenses of those who were injured.

Mr Ayim explained that the disbursement of the fund has delayed partly because of the conflicting claims by some of the relatives of the victims. He said the government has been very careful in its approach to the disbursement of the funds to prevent any misapplication and ensure that nobody is left out. He said the services of the BNI and district assemblies were engaged in the screening exercise to forestall any unjustifiable claims by the relatives of the victims.

On May 9, last year, 126 soccer fans dies and several others were injured as a result of a stampede at the Accra Stadium during a league match between Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko. The government set up a stadium disaster fund to mobilise resources to provide relief for the victims to ameliorate the effects of the disaster on their families.