Mensah Remembers May 9
Former Kumasi Asante Kotoko boss Herbert Mensah has called on all stakeholders in the management of football in Ghana to pool their resources to rid the game of needless disasters.
Mensah said contrary to the perception that May 9 had thought us lessons the events of February this year which saw four people die at the Baba Yara stadium due to overcrowding should be a wake up call.
The statement, which was issued to mark the eighth anniversary of the May 9 disaster at the Accra Sports stadium, said government has to take a serious look at the structure of the National Sports Council (NSC) and how it manages football stadia.
“It looks as if the NSC is stuck in a time warp and is more concerned about percentage proceeds at soccer matches than the safety of the users of such facilities,” he said.
The businessman and football administrator said it is very unfortunate that the Baba Yara stadium should experience loss of lives after it had been refurbished to international standard.
“Our desire for monetary gain should not becloud the responsibility to protect users of stadia facilities. We have to ensure that capacity limits are followed to the letter,” he stated.
Mensah said the horrors of May 9 should serve as a strong reminder of the responsibility of every Ghanaian to ensure that the right processes are followed in all facets of our lives.
He said: “We owe it a duty to the lost souls and their families who grieve every day over what should not have happened that fateful day. Allowing the incident of February 8 2009 to occur at the Baba Yara stadium is a complete betrayal of the martyrs whose blood was lost to end the rot in Ghana football.”
Mensah called on government to liaise with all stakeholders to ensure that adequate emergency mechanisms are put in place during all major sports events as they go a long way to prevent disasters from escalating.
As he has done over the years Mensah is donating cash and food items to some families who lost loved ones in the May 9 disaster of 2001. Victims of the February 8 2001 disaster are also beneficiaries of his magnanimity.
In Accra today, Mensah donated some bags of rice to victims of the disaster in Accra. Alhaji Suleman Braimah popularly referred to as Alhaji Hearts received the donation on behalf of victims from the Hearts of Oak side with Madam Mercy Smith receiving on behalf of Kotoko.
Alhaji Hearts thanked Herbert Mensah was his continued support to families of the victims of the May 9 disaster and prayed other personalities and institutions to throw their weight behind Mensah in the coming years.
Kobina Andoh Amoakwa
+233 24 3417959