Exactly 17 years ago, fans of Accra Hearts Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko left their various homes in high spirits and enthusiasm to watch their favourite clubs take on each other in a Ghana Premier League fixture but unfortunately 127 of them could not return home.
The game itself was great. Kotoko took the lead courtesy a goal by Lawrence Agyei but Ishmael Addo scored two late goals to turn the tie in favour of Hearts. A section of the fans who were not happy with the performance of the referee on the day, started throwing plastic seats, bottles and whatever object they could lay their hands on onto the pitch.
The Police after trying unsuccessfully to calm the agitating fans, fired tear gas into the packed crowd at the Accra Sports Stadium.
The response by the Police resulted in panic moves by the supporters which in turn generated into a stampede. 127 fans from both sides lost their lives in the unfortunate episode.
The May 9 disaster as it has come to be known left an indelible mark on the minds of almost every Ghanaian and it is commemorated every year not only to pay respect to the 127 football fans who lost their lives but also to serve as a painful reminder to football fans on the need to behave appropriately when they go to the stadium to watch games.
The 127 fans who died in one of Africa’s biggest and bloodiest football tragedies left behind children, brothers, sisters and family members who gather at the entrance of the Accra Sports Stadium every year to remember their loved ones. In this special episode of Sports Check, GhanaWeb Sports editor, Daniel Oduro caught up with some of the survivors of the disaster to recount how events unfolded.
He also interacted with relatives of some of the victims of the May 9 Stadium disaster.
Below is the interview with some of the survivors and relatives of some the victims