The Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Kwame Asiamah, has urged all stakeholders in sports, to unite with a common destiny to promote a sense of oneness, devoid of anti-social vices that tend to divide them.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports (MOYS) in collaboration with the National Sports Authority (NSA), marked the 17th anniversary of the May 9th football disaster that claimed 127 lives at the Accra Sports Stadium after a midweek league match between Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko.
Speaking at the commemoration ceremony at the forecourt of the Accra Sports Stadium on Wednesday, Mr. Asiamah said it was unfortunate the event traumatized the whole nation and expressed government’s heartfelt condolence to the bereaved families.
“Time, they say heal wounds, but on this occasion although 17 years have passed, we still feel the freshness of the pain, shame and guilt.”
“It is for this reason that on behalf of the Government and the people of Ghana, I express our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and friends, who lost their loved ones. We believe they are resting in the bosom of their maker,” he said.
Mr. Asiamah said there was the need to protect the interest of fans who patronize our games, as their disinterest in the game would lead to collapse of sports in the country.
“Today as a nation, we stand to emulate the unity shown across the world even after this disaster and proclaim that, the beautiful game must be the winner at no cost to the followers of the game, whose contribution make the cycle of joy complete.”
“We must always protect the interest of the fans without whose patronage professional sports fails to exist. We must regard fans as the most treasured primary stakeholders in the game of football,” he added.
The commemoration of the May 9 victims as culminated by wreath laying ceremony, with representatives of the Government, Ghana Football Association, Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak making floral tributes to the 127 people who lost their lives.