Ghana blame organisers for crowd problems

October 13, 2008

Ghana's football authorities believe inexperienced organisers were largely to blame for the crowd trouble which marred the World Cup qualifier against Lesotho on Saturday.

The Essipong Stadium in Sekondi was hosting its first ever international in line with a policy of the Ghana Football Association to take games around the country.

However in the build-up, there were ticketing problems at the 20,000-seater venue with security forces unable to control the large numbers, who eventually forced two gates open to gain free entry.

GFA chairman Kwesi Nyantekyie acknowledged that there were problems, but vowed the association will rectify the situation to avoid a repeat in the future.

"There were so many security personnel at the stadium but it appeared to me there were problems," he told www.kickoffghana.com.

"This was the first time the Black Stars or any of the national teams were playing a game here and it appears the organisers were overwhelmed about it.

"This may have accounted for the lapses. But those reasons are not good enough to stop bringing games here because if you look at the positives and negatives, the positives outweigh the negatives.

"We should consider the negatives as challenges and turn them into strength so next time we can play a game in Sekondi in a more orderly fashion."

According to reports, up to 30,000 people may have eventually crammed into the stadium and Nyantekyie admits that the security control was poor.

He continued: "The facilities were overstretched. It needs the security men to control the entrance. During the Nations Cup we controlled the crowd, here we could not. The security that was put in place to control the crowd did not perform to expectation.

"But Sekondi will continue to get games. We want to rotate games and galvanise support for the various national teams.

"The problems that occurred should help us get better but you can never overlook the support the Sekondi fans provided the Black Stars."

Ghana won the game 3-0 to finish top of Group Five and book their place in the final round of qualifying, which begins next February.