Sunday, March 1, 2009


THE Minister of Youth and Sports, Alhaji Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak, yesterday inaugurated a five-member committee of inquiry to investigate the February 8 incident at the Baba Yara Stadium with the firm assurance that the law would deal firmly with anyone found culpable.
He said the government was much concerned about the incident which resulted in four deaths and injuries to a number of football fans during the Glo Premier League match between Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak at the Baba Yara Stadium, which Hearts won 2-1.
He said the government was determined to get answers to the problems that occurred during the match and find ways to prevent its occurence in the future.
The committee has a Kumasi-based legal practitioner, Mr James Maxwell Belieb, as chairman. The other members are Mr Welbeck Abra-Appiah, chairman of the Premier League Board, Dr Kofi Asafo-Agyei, a medical practitioner at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Mr Mohammed Alhassan, a radio presenter, and Assistant Commissioner of Police George Mensah of the Ashanti Regional Police.
They have two weeks to present their report to the Minister of Youth and Sports who is expected to present it to the President.
The committee will among others ascertain the total number of casualties, both deaths and injuries, determine whether there were any form of negligence on the part of officials; to find out whether the National Sports Council adhered to laid down regulations in organising matches and to make appropriate recommendations to the ministry on how to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.
Alhaji Mubarak recalled the May 9, 2001 disaster at the Ohene Djan Stadium, which led to 129 deaths and said it seemed Ghanaians were not ready to learn anything from that.
That was why President Mills was determined to put things right because Ghana could not afford to lose precious lives in such manner.
The minister stated that “there will be no witch-hunting in the committee’s work”.
He again urged people with information about the incident to feel free to give them out, promising that the identity of witnesses would be kept secret.

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