he President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) has tasked the Ghana Police Service to do more towards cracking down on hooliganism in the country’s football.
In March, match officials of a Division One League game between Wamanafo Mighty Royals and Tano Bofoakwa were brutally assaulted. Videos of the incident were all over social media, sparking renewed calls for the perpetrators to be brought to book.
It was the latest of, at least, five such cases in past year alone. Indeed, it is almost two years since referee Theresa Bremansu was beaten in a Women’s Special Competition game on April 7, 2019. Nobody has been prosecuted or jailed, leading to accusations of passiveness against the FA.
Bremansu, it may be recalled, bitterly complained about the ‘meagre’ GHS 5,000 fine the GFA imposed on the home team, Prisons Ladies.
In an interview on the Joy Sports Link on Saturday, the Kurt Okraku condemned the acts, but was quick to defend the FA’s actions in dealing with the issues.
“The clubs know what it is [they must do] to successfully manage games and what the needs are in terms of security. But, we cannot control the mindset of every individual in the world and most importantly, every individual who goes to our match centers to consume our domestic football,” he told Maclean Osei Ebenezer.
“I wholeheartedly condemn hooliganism that has been noticed in some of the league centres. People who have misbehaved are going through and disciplinary committee and all that. Punishment is not enough to combat hooliganism,” he added.
When asked why there has been no concrete action such as prosecution and prison sentences to deter others, he averred that it is not his outfits job, in principle.
“Sorry, I am not the Inspector General of Police. Sorry, I am not the police commander. One week ago, the police were attacked by supporters. I expect the police to act and that is why I am moving to the Brong Ahafo region to meet the Police High Command. We want to see them working. We will never accept hooliganism in our sport because it belongs in the stone age,” he noted.
He also revealed that the FA has been in constant touch with the Police Service and other agencies to work with football stakeholders in improving security at games. “We’ve done capacity buildings, had security briefings and trainings with all our stakeholders. On our part, we really do what we can, but there’s more work to be done.”
The 2020/21 Ghana football season is expected to reach its conclusion later this year.