Political commentator and vice president of IMANI Africa, Bright Simons has become the latest critic of the National Sports Authority following some of its organisation failures in the recent clash between Nigeria and Ghana.
The Black Stars of Ghana and the Super Eagles of Nigeria clashed in a crucial World Cup qualifier at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Friday, March 24, 2022.
Characteristic of Black Stars matches played in Kumasi, the Baba Yara Sports Stadium recorded massive attendance with over 38,000 thousand Ghanaians cheering the senior national team on during the match.
However, multiple reports indicate lapses in organization and security at the stadium leading to a near-fatal stampede incident.
Speaking on the failures of the National Sports Authority in effectively ensuring a well-organised event, Bright Simons in a Twitter post has pointed out that the Kumasi incident will be the third time there has been pandemonium at a stadium due to lax security and organisation over a period.
He warns that Ghana may be heading into another disaster similar to the May 9, 2001, Accra Sports Stadium disaster if the NSA is not put in check in terms of its organisation.
“The ‘National Sports Authority’ is a problem child. If some adult supervision is not brought in, another May 9th stampede is ahead. Yesterday was the 3rd time since June that Ghanaian football fans have broken down gates to enter a stadium due to lax security & poor organization,” he posted in a Tweet.
Ghana recorded Africa’s worst stadium disaster in 2001 during a clash between the nation’s two super clubs, Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko.
A decision by the referee on the day resulted in disappointed Asante Kotoko fans throwing plastic seats and bottles onto the pitch.
The police providing security at the stadium fired tear gas into the irate fans and the ensuing panic resulted in a stampede which led to the death of some 126 fans.
An official inquiry instituted by the government of Ghana blamed the police for over-reacting with reckless behaviour and indiscriminate firing of plastic bullets and tear gas. It also accused some officers of dishonesty and indefensible laxity.