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Sports News of Monday, 12 April 2021


Hooliganism in football stone-age attitude – GFA President

Kurt Edwin Simeon-Okraku, GFA President Kurt Edwin Simeon-Okraku, GFA President

President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Kurt Edwin Simeon-Okraku has condemned misbehaviours during sporting activities especially by supporters of Football Clubs at League Centres.

His comments come on the back of the assault on four referees by Bono-based Mighty royals fans in a league game against Bofoakwa Tano last month.

Supporters of Ghana Division One League side Wamanafo Mighty Royals attacked match officials and beat them to a pulp after their game against Bofoakwa Tano.

The fans of the home team took to the field after the final whistle and assaulted the match officials resulting in centre referee Niatire Suntuo Aziz losing some of his teeth.

Speaking on Accra-based Joy FM, the President, however, noted that the Association is putting in place all necessary security measures needed for football lovers to have incident-free match days at the various stadia.

“We will never accept hooliganism because hooliganism belongs to the stone-age, that is it. Hooliganism is something that we will work towards eradicating in our sport,” Mr Kurt Okraku added.

According to the GFA President, he and the team at the GFA Secretariat has met with all the necessary security agencies in the country including the security committee of the GFA when he took over office.

“We started a journey with my all-important meeting with the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the top hierarchy of the Police Service. The journey has been with almost all the security apparatus we have in this county including but not limited to the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI),” he disclosed.

The GFA President stated that he has also engaged with Club owners and Club Executives and discussed with them what it is to manage a game successfully on match days and what the needs are in terms of security.

“But we cannot control the mindset of every individual in the world, most importantly every individual who wakes up in the morning and goes to our match centres to consume our domestic football. For which reason you must always make that room available that somebody will misbehave, and when people misbehave, they must be educated, they must go through the laid down processes within the football ecosystem, that is in seeking redress.”

“I sit here and I wholeheartedly condemn hooliganism that has been noticed or that has happened in some of the League Centres,” he stated.

The President of the football governing body further disclosed that people who have perpetrated hooliganism at the League Centres are facing the Disciplinary Committee of the GFA.

Mr Kurt Okraku noted that the situation whereby people think because a referee is wrong they have to vent their frustration on others is totally unacceptable.

He said there are situations where referees make horrendous decisions in well-established jurisdictions but people don’t throw stones or misbehave.

“We will continue to educate people on the rules of the game. But for some funny reasons everybody seems to believe that referees are always wrong. And if referees are wrong, they have to vent their frustrations on human beings. This is not acceptable,” he stated.

The GFA President said punishment alone cannot be the way forward but education and respect for all stakeholders before, during and after matches.

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