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Other Sports of Monday, 15 March 2010

Source: GNA

Committee to plan May 9 stadium disaster celebrations

Accra, March 15, GNA - The Ministry of Youth and Sports has set up a=

Committee to plan and organise activities in commemoration of May 9 stadi= um disaster that claimed about 126 lives in 2001.

The Committee is also to formulate for implementation the kinds of plans that will endure through the coming years and instil in the minds o= f sports fans, players and officials the need to always make safety, fair play, love and care for other important principles in competitions. A statement issued on behalf of the sector Minister Ms Akua Sena Dansua, by Kofi Aggrey, Public Relations Officer of the Ministry copied t= o

Ghana League Clubs Association, (GHALCA), Referees Association of Ghana (RAG) and the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG). It said the Committee will be chaired by Nii Nortey Dua, Deputy Minister of the Ministry who is also a Member of Parliament for Ledzokuku=

constituency, Teshie in Accra.

Briefing members of the Committee, Nii Nortey Dua said that the significance for the observation of the day had dwindled down over the ye= ars with very little being held in memory of the departed soccer souls. Nii Nortey Dua regretted that the urgency of fair play and safety required in football has been over taken by outright hooliganism once aga= in and which needs to be checked.

"The nation runs the risk of repeating the gruesome blot on our sport= s history if we allow ourselves to forget soon the events that led to the death of 126 worthy citizens of Ghana", the Deputy Minister noted. He referred to recent incidents at the Baba Yara Stadium, which also=

claimed innocent lives after a match between Hearts and Kotoko as well ot= her cases of violence and crowd misbehaviour as events which should rather ca= ll for informed behavioural change at the stadiums.

The Deputy Minister called on members of the Committee to do the outmost they can to 'impinge the spectacle on the sensibilities of all compatriots to continually say "Never Again" to such disaster and behaviours. "Even now, nine years down the line, recommendations accepted by government and other important aspects of the government White Paper have=

still not been adhered to. Nii Nortey Dua said the Ministry would expect the Committee to team u= p with other stakeholders 'to make sanity prevail in our sporting arenas an= d to allow for the sporting public to feel free to enjoy their sports.