Stop the hooligans, Ghana police – Jerome Otchere

It’s an understatement to assert that violence has taken a comfortable, front roll seat at venues in Ghana football. I’m sorry but per my personal experience in covering the domestic game, I unequivocally submit that, you maybe maimed or killed at any venue in our leagues and it’s unlikely your assailants will be arrested talk less of being prosecuted.

It’s no exaggeration. That’s the bitter truth. No one wishes that anyone is wounded or dies at a venue but the reality is, whether as a spectator, referee, player, club official or journalist; you can be beaten mercilessly by anyone who feels aggrieved by anything at any venue. Your feeling will be worsened by the fact that, you’ll have no justice.

If the law or Police were dealing with the hooligans everywhere in our leagues, we would’ve had the faith that the monstrous beast of hooliganism haunting us is being confronted with a chance of subduing it. That’s not what we see. Venues are banned swiftly by the Ghana Football Association (GFA), clubs are fined when they’re found capable and officials also banned often for misconduct if there’s evidence indicating that, they were involved in reprehensible acts of violence.

That’s as far as the GFA is permitted to go within the realms of the sport. And they’ve been perfectly up to that business in violent cases recorded this season or in the past. The gaping hole in combating hooliganism in our football, however, is police inaction, resulting from inadequate personnel deployment; no arrests which effectively hampers investigations and likely prosecution leading to incarceration of culprits.

The above captures the exact picture of hooliganism in our football. From Accra to Kumasi, Berekum to Dormaa, Daboase to Tarkwa, and several other venues, the arm of the law has been so weak or unable to deal with football violence. Until Police arrest of hooligans becomes the norm, until hoodlums masquerading as fans face the full rigorous of the law, until harsh punishments are meted out to lawless fans, no progress will be made containing the canker.

Not enforcing law and order has been our bane. Although it’s that which inspired this write-up, I’m slow to retell events in last Sunday’s Division One League game which recorded cruel acts of violence in what looks like a reprisal attack involving Skyy FC supporters and FC Samartex, whose officials and players were horribly beaten.

We’ve had many of these dehumanising incidents. Sadly, victims receive no justice. Culprits are neither arrested nor punished. Lawlessness thrives as a result. Since assuming office recently, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr. George Akuffu Dampare has demonstrated that, the Police administration can be trusted to protect lives and property, maintain law and order, ensure discipline and sanity in the public sqaure.

The IGP has earned the confidence of most Ghanaians but those of us in football are yet to see a semblance order at notorious football venues. Hooliganism is giving headaches and heartaches to football authorities as it poses great danger to lives and property besides destroying the beauty or development of the game. What’s the Police administration doing about the worrying situation?

They must respond to the call to halt football violence.


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