Remembering May 9th Stadium Disaster: Official line-up of Hearts and Kotoko on May 9, 2001
Today marks exactly 19 years of the dreadful May 9th stadium disaster at the Accra Sports Stadium when Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko Football clubs were playing their GPL finals.
The incident killed 127 football fans when the police fired tear gas into the stands in their efforts to control rioting fans, resulting in a stampede during which the fans lost their lives while attempting to escape.
Hundreds of fans were also seriously injured during the incident, which has been called Africa’s worst-ever stadium disaster.
In commemorating the 19th anniversary in Accra, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) said it remains committed to honoring the memory of the fallen by continuing its efforts to improve safety standards at match venues.
It appealed to all football administrators, security officers, medicals and football-loving Ghanaians to cooperate with the federation to ensure the nation doesn’t experience such incidents in the game again.
“Let us constantly remind ourselves that never again should such a tragedy befall our beautiful game and our beloved nation,” said the statement.
What really happened?
Ghana’s two most successful football teams played that day, the Accra Hearts of Oak (The Phobians) Sporting Club and the Asante Kotoko (Porcupine Warriors) Sporting Club.
Officials were anticipating crowd disturbances and had taken extra security measures. Hearts of Oak scored two late goals, and the referee called 2–1 in favor of Hearts, resulting in disappointed Kotoko fans throwing plastic seats and bottles onto the pitch.
The police responded by firing tear gas into the crowd. Panic and a stampede ensued as fans tried to escape. Gates were locked and the stadium’s compromised design left a bottleneck, with fewer exits than originally planned. Ghana Institute of Architects called the stadium a “death trap.” After the hour-long ordeal, it was found that 116 deaths resulted from compressive asphyxia and 10 fans died from trauma.
A fan, Abdul Mohammed, had passed out from the tear gas and was moved to a morgue, thought to be dead. He regained consciousness after someone stepped on his foot, narrowly missing being buried alive.
Reports claim that medical staff had already left the stadium, as the incident happened near the end of the match. Some gates were locked, preventing escape
Here is the Official line-up of Hearts and Kotoko on that faithful day May 9, 2001
Match day 4: Ghana Premier League, May 9, 2001
Venue: Accra Sports Stadium
Full Time: Hearts 2-1 Kotoko (Scorers: Ishmael Addo (2x) 77′ 81′ ; Lawrence Adjei 60′)
Hearts of Oka Line-up
1. Sammy Adjei (GK)
2. Amankwah Mireku
3. Jacob Nettey (C)
4. Dan Quaye
5. Stephen Tetteh
6. Joe Ansah
7. Charles Allotey
8. Lawrence Adjah Tetteh
9. Ismael Addo
10. Emmanuel Osei Kuffour
11. Charles Taylor
1. Eben Dida (GK)
2. Richard Nii Noi
3. Dan Oppong
4. Edmund Copson
5. George Eranio
6. Kenneth Sarpong
7. Bernard Don Bortey
Hearts Coach: Cecil Jones Attuquayefio (Dead: May 12, 2015)
1. Osei Boateng (GK)
2. Kwaku Duah ‘Cashbola’
3. Godfred Yeboah
4. Dan Acquah
5. Joe Hendricks
6. Joe Sam
7. Lawrence Adjei
8. Godwin Ablordey (C)
9. Shilla Alhassan
10. Nana Frimpong
11. Frank Asowah
1. Louis Quainoo (GK)
2. Kwaku Kyere ‘Puma’
3. Anas Mohammed
4. Stephen Oduro
5. Abedi Sarfo
6. Patrick Duodu
7. Angelo Dedon
1. Joe Okyere (Not in Jersey)
2. Fuseini Adams (Not in Jersey)
Kotoko Coach: Ernst Middendorf
May 9th Match Referees
Joseph Wilson Sey
F. B. Arthur – Line 1
M. D. Arthur – Line 2
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