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Sports News of Saturday, 9 May 2020


'It was my birthday and my father died' - Woman recounts horror of May 9 stadium disaster

Hawa Asare lost her father in the May 9 disaster play videoHawa Asare lost her father in the May 9 disaster

Hawa Asare’s father was one of the 126 casualties who died in the May 9th disaster in 2001 in a football match between Hearts of Oak vs Asante Kotoko at the Accra Sports Stadium. Although many do not remember the scoreline of that game, the number of lives lost is known by many football fans till date.

It was a beautiful Wednesday afternoon, or at least it was supposed to be so and Hawa Asare had just returned from school to celebrate her 11th birthday with her family.

“It was actually my birthday and I was eleven years old, on a Wednesday. We were at home with our Dad, he came from work and we were even chatting,” Hawa Asare said, recalling events from the sad incident.

The family was having a good time when Hawa’s father requested to go and watch his favourite club Kotoko play their arch-rivals Hearts of Oak at the Accra Sports stadium.

Hawa Asare tells Ghanaweb that, she, along with her family tried to convince her father to stay at home but her father did not heed to their words because he was on a mission and nothing could stop him.

Just like most fathers, Hawa’s dad, left home bidding them farewell with the hope to return later in the evening.

“It was raining and he said he was going to the stadium and I asked him what is he going to do and he said, you know he is a very popular fan of Kotoko so he wants to watch the match. We were even finding certain ways for him not to leave the house, but he said he will be back.”

The match ended and the night passed away yet, Hawa’s father never showed up. But, there was a sign of hope because her father often stayed away from home at night due to the nature of her father’s job as a chairman who distributes newspapers.
The next day, Hawa went to school and received information from her headmistress asking her to go to her family house because there was something urgent she had to attend to along with her siblings.

With teary eyes, she said, “The headmistress told us we had to come to our family house because something was going on.” Wondering what it was she said, “We took a trotro and went to our family house.”

It was at this moment that Hawa Asare heard one the saddest news of her life a day after turning eleven years.

Our family members told us “ this is what has happened to our dad. I was actually very sad that day, I couldn’t believe it.”

“I really loved my dad that much, for me to lose him in such a sad way,” Hawa Asare told Daniel Oduro on the Sports Check show on Ghanaweb TV two years ago.

Many years after the incident, the former student of Labone Senior High School said she sometimes had to drop out of school in search of money to pay her fees.

Watch full video below