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The President of the Ghana Football Association, Kurt Okraku has urged the Ghana Police Service to set up a unit dedicated to policing sporting activities in the country.
Noting the country’s checkered past with football violence, Mr Okraku emphasised that the assistance of the police is crucial in the GFA’s bid to end the menace permanently.
Hooliganism remains a major challenge for Ghana football, with multiple incidents recorded across various grounds in country last season.
The country is also still recovering from the loss of 127 lives when violence broke out at the Accra Sports Stadium in May 2001, during a match between the country’s two biggest clubs, Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko.
While no incident of that scale has been recorded since then at a football ground in Ghana, isolated incidents across the country continue to occur, with more violent events being witnessed in recent years.
Speaking in an interaction with the Inspector General of Police, COP George Akuffo Dampare, Mr Okraku said a department set up solely to deal with violent incidents in sport will go a long way towards tackling hooliganism in Ghana football.
“We have an opportunity to take football policing very seriously. In other established jurisdictions we have sports policing units. This tells you how important sports policing is, since football controls the hearts of millions of people,” Mr Okraku said.
“I would be extremely happy if our new IGP and the leadership of the Police Service would also venture into creating a sports policing unit within the Police Service. That will help us a lot in the forward march of our football development.”