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Sports Features of Thursday, 17 March 2016


Uncanny human attitude at the Nation's Wembley - The Accra Sports Stadium

The Accra Sports stadium The Accra Sports stadium

I have had the opportunity to visit quite a number of Stadia and match venues in the country during football matches in my infant years as a sports journalist and there has been none that has always given me a joy and happiness to visit again and again to watch football matches than the Accra Sports Stadium.

I do love watching games at the Accra Sports Stadium as a matter of fact even though almost my entire 23-year-life has been spent in Kumasi enjoying football, either playing or watching.

Watching football games at the Accra Sports Stadium has always been fun and pleasing to me no matter the teams involved.

I have watched Hearts of Oak, Great Olympics and the Black Stars of Ghana take on opponents at the Accra Sports Stadium.

The last game I watched at the Accra Sports Stadium before Sunday's game between Hearts of Oak and Bechem United was the 2017 Afcon qualifier between the Black Stars of Ghana and Mauritius which ended by seven goals to nil for Ghana way back in July, almost eight month ago.

In all my times watching games at the Accra Sports Stadium I have come to observe some peculiar happenings that have taken away the pride and excitement of attending games at the stadium.

It is some sort of inane and bad behavior to the marrow that has started crippling beneath the towing line of the Ghanaian game and must be arrested in earnest not to erupt up to the surface of football administration in the country.

Before I narrow it down to the structures and how the stadium is in its deadly state, I will love to touch on human attitude at the stadium which is in a bizarre state.

As I prepared to go to the stadium on Sunday, I had calls from sister stations to run commentary for them so had to get to the stadium well-prepared for the mission at hand.

As I entered the VIP stand wanting to get to the media stand of the stadium, the security guard at the main entrance of the press and presidential box had to have a serious exchange with a colleague journalist because the journalist came late and claimed that the box was filled up 30 minutes to kick off.

As I watched with amazement, I started crying for myself as I didn't have any prove to claim my authenticity of wanting to run commentary to be allowed entry to the press box.

For that reason, I stayed down the VIP wings waiting to run commentary for those stations without calling problems for myself.

Thereon appeared another senior journalist, Rahman Osman of Citi FM and, being denied access to the press section of the stadium.

Though everything seemed Rahman did not have his card with him, he explained to the guard that he wanted to send a laptop to a senior journalist Ridwan Asante of Multimedia but the security refused to give him way.

Rahman had to call Ridwan from commentary box before the security agreed of letting him in. Even that, Rahman had to be followed up by the security to certify how true that is.

As if that was not enough some few minutes into the game whiles I was focused on the match, I heard some voices flying out behind me and to my surprise it was between the same security guard and famous retired footballer Wilberforce Nfum.

I was startled with the behavior of the guard why he was doing that to even heroes of our beloved nation.

The security had to be pleaded by spectators around before he gave him access to that place. However, Nfum's driver was not let in.

I quickly recalled that former Black Stars captain Stephen Appiah was given a similar treat during the 2014 World Cup qualifying game with Zambia in Kumasi.

It has got to a point that those who have given all and brought Ghana football to this stage are treated in disdain for all those mischievous interest of those responsible for our national Stadia.

Why has it reach this era where security guards who contribute very little to the main game, have to handle our heroes and journalist in a bitter taste?

What are the guards trying to achieve in meting out such disgusting attitude to those who sacrificed so much for the Ghanaian game to reach this level?

I concur that the securities are doing their job as we expect from them by their civil rights but there are exceptions to everything.

If ordinary hoi polloi are given stiffer and strict instructions to adhere to at our stadia to ensure serenity and safety, does it warrant the awful nature of how these people were handled by the security on Sunday?

How and what orientation do we give our security men at the stadia?

If a whole Stephen Appiah and Wilberforce Nfum have been treated with insolence and rudeness, what do you think will happen to Kwesi Nyantakyi when he is no more the President of the Ghana football association?

Yes, the Ghana League Club Association (GHALCA) Chairman, Alhaji Raji was not confronted by any security member but his assistant he came with was not allowed in the Presidential Box.

That sounds as a warning to everyone who holds in high esteem a position in Ghana football that he or she is not guaranteed safety at out stadia when he retires from that stage.

This cannot continue while we sit down as writers and watch.

It is our duty to write and report these weird happenings to those in authority, as it is theirs to control and ensure sanity at our stadia, so as to arrest this stinking situation and device the right and wise approach to curb the situation.

I sometimes do not begrudge the security men at the stadium that much because they operate from orders ‘above’.

Nonetheless, they can work with their common sense and determine who is safe and who is not to get access to that portion of the stadium.

Who are those to be hospitably host at the stadium?

I might be wrong though but the citizenry should be the first to get the hospitality of our security if the Japanese who came to support Kenichi Yatsuhashi are given the freedom of entrance and exit to the presidential and press sections.