As the country prepares to mark the 13th anniversary of the May 9th soccer disaster that claimed 126 lives at the Accra sports stadium, former football administrator Herbert Mensah is rallying support for families left behind by victims of the tragedy.
Whilst accusing successive governments of neglecting families left behind by victims of the disaster Mr. Mensah said Ghanaians must come together and show compassion to the families and also take a strong stand against soccer violence.
Herbert Mensah who was the chief executive officer of Asante Kotoko when the disaster occurred told myjoyonline.com those who perished in the tragedy have not been given the respect and recognition that should be accorded them.
“When it comes to May 9th government has always conducted the remembrance separately from the families and that is not good enough and it doesn’t show respect and compassion.” he added.
The May 9 stadium disaster is Africa’s worst soccer tragedy. Lives were lost as a result of a stampede which occurred during a league match between rivals Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko in 2001.
Herbert Mensah who has made it a ritual to observe the day since 2001 has also over the period made financial and material contribution to the family left behind.
As part of activities marking the day this year, which falls on Friday, Mr. Mensah who is an international business man of great repute will speak to selected youth groups in the Ashanti region on Thursday on the theme “From Despair to Hope”.
On Friday which marks the 13th anniversary of the disaster, organized groups will match through the principal streets of Kumasi to draw attention against soccer violence after which a soccer match between old players of the senior national team the Black Stars and the media in Kumasi will be staged at the Baba Yara Sport Stadium.
A courtesy call on the Ashanti regional Chief Imam will follow after the match. Meanwhile, some corporate organizations have made cash and material donation towards the day which is expected to go to the families. Interplast Ghana producers of PVC pipes, Sunda, a Chinese company operation in Ghana as well as Stallion Ghana Limited, DHL Cargo, Silver Star, Nissan , Samuel Asare of Ampofo and partners and the president of the Ghana Football Association Kwesi Nyantakyi are all on board to restore smiles on the faces of those whose relations lost their lives in that tragedy.
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