The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has assured that justice will be served in the stadium shooting incident that occurred on Sunday at the Baba Yara sports stadium.
One Kumasi Asante Kotoko fan was shot on Sunday as violence erupted during the Kumasi club’s Ghana Premier League encounter with Berekum Chelsea.
The fan is currently receiving treatment at the Emergency Unit of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.
What triggered the violence
Fans of the team were seen in various video clips hurling some objects onto the Baba Yara Stadium pitch to show their displeasure at a refereeing decision taken by centre referee, Charles Bulu.
Videos shared widely on social media showed a man covered in blood, initially writhing in pain on the floor outside the Baba Yara Stadium before being carried away to the hospital leaving a bloody spot on the ground.
The match itself ended 1-0 to Berekum Chelsea.
The police officer who was suspected to have shot the victim was subsequently interdicted by the Ashanti Regional Police command.
The GFA also issued a statement wishing the victim a speedy recovery and urging the general public to remain calm as investigations are being carried out.
Speaking On Eyewitness News, the spokesperson of the GFA, Tamimu Issah hinted that the awaited findings from the matchday officials have been presented to the GFA and the association will present its ruling soon.
“On the whole incident, we await the report of our matchday officials; the match commissioner, the referee himself, assistant referees and our match assessors. Their official report will inform us on exactly what transpired and what happened. It’s 2-way –the football side and the security side. But we have our match code and ethics which guide match officials, players and supporters on acceptable conduct before, during and after matches so based on the matchday officials report, we will see whether these codes were breached and whoever –whether club, whether official –anybody who is found to have breached our regulations will be ruthlessly dealt with”.
“There is also the alleged shooting by the police officer. We welcome the police statement expressing their commitment to conduct thorough investigations to find out what really happened. We will cooperate with the police in their investigations and we are also very serious about this. We have started reviewing our results and we will come out again to let the general public know what our next line of action is going to be,” he said.
Tamimu Issah noted that “…the reports will be reviewed and sanctions if any will be pronounced. Clearly, if any of the regulations have been breached somebody must be punished. Just like I said, the reports have reached us and any official who is found to have breached our regulations will not be shielded at all. This is going to be a holistic investigation. The GFA will look at the conduct of the referee.”
There have been allegations that there is a long-standing feud between Asante Kotoko and referee Dacosta who officiated the said game.
On why the GFA would put him in charge of the said game knowing the history of the two parties, the GFA spokesperson said the association has no direct control of who officiates a match since it is the job of the referee committee.
“We have a referee committee that is responsible for appointing referees for our games. And we have a list of qualified referees and a list of qualified match officials who can officiate any of our premier league matches. Nobody is barred from officiating a particular club’s match and it is not a club’s prerogative to determine which referee they want to handle their match for them. That is the sole responsibility of the referees committee and if a referee handles a match and he doesn’t conduct himself in a manner expected of him it is not within the right of supporters to take the law into their own hands and subject the referee to attack or make the stadium unsafe for everybody”.
GFA slaps Kotoko with a temporary home ban
Meanwhile, the Ghana FA has handed a temporary home ban to Asante Kotoko following the violent incidents that occurred during the team’s Week 3 match against Berekum Chelsea in the Ghana Premier League.
The Ghana FA’s ban is rooted in Article 14 (2) of its regulations which talks about safety of match centres and the association says the ban is in place while it looks at a full determination of the matter.
“Following incidents at the Baba Yara Stadium during Asante Kotoko’s Premier League match with Berekum Chelsea on Sunday, the GFA Executive Council has decided to temporarily ban Asante Kotoko from playing its matches at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium pending the adjudication of the matter by the GFA Disciplinary Committee,” GFA added in a statement.