Godwin Ablordey, former captain of Asante Kotoko and a survivor of the tragic May 9 disaster, has shared his experience and memories of the incident. The disaster took place during a football match between Hearts of Oak and Kotoko at the Accra Sports Stadium. Ablordey, who led Kotoko, remembers the events that led to the death of 126 people in 2001.
During the game, Kotoko conceded two late goals that led to a turnaround in the scoreline in favor of Hearts of Oak. This upset some Kotoko fans, who threw plastic seats and bottles onto the pitch, leading the police to respond with tear gas. The gas caused a stampede in the stadium that resulted in many fatalities.
Now serving as assistant coach to King Faisal, Ablordey uses his experience to educate his players about the importance of safety in sports. Whenever he plays or coaches at the Accra Sports Stadium, he recounts the disaster to his players and educates them about its causes.
Ablordey stresses the importance of safety measures in sports, especially in stadiums where thousands of people gather to watch games. He wants to ensure that players and fans alike understand the dangers of crowd disturbances and how to avoid them.
For the most part, sports are meant to be enjoyed by all, and safety should be a top priority. The May 9 disaster serves as a painful reminder of the consequences of failing to prioritize safety. It is essential to educate players and fans about the importance of safety measures and how to follow them to prevent such incidents from happening again.
In a nutshell, Ablordey’s experience and memories of the May 9 disaster are a reminder that sports should be safe for everyone involved. It is up to all of us to take responsibility for our actions and ensure that we prioritize safety in sports.