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Division One League How the coach of Elmina Sharks nearly lost his life due to football hooliganism

Kwabena Amissah's collapse at Sekondi, a victim of societal irresponsibility.

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  play Elmina Sharks coach Kwabena Amissah

The aftermath of a Division One League match between Proud United and Elmina Sharks at the Sekondi Gyandu Park on Saturday took the life of coach Kwabena Amissah to the hospital for resuscitation after he collapsed in a physical assault.

The Zone Two match had ended 1-0 in favour of league leaders Sharks, from a second half free kick which was deflected in for the goal by the human wall. 

Throughout the game, there was wild suspicion of refereeing biases towards Sharks, as it has become a norm now. The ultimate reason for that strong allegation is attributed to the sponsorship of the lower division league by GN Bank, owned by presidential candidate and founder of Progressive People's Party (PPP), Dr. Paa Kwesi Ndoum. 

Dr. Ndoum owns Elmina Sharks, the club he's established in his hometown, Elimina in the central region. Last season, the same raging issue brought near-bloody enmity between Sharks and the eventual winners of the zone, Cape Coast Ebusua Dwarfs. 

Sharks had earlier beaten traditional giant, Sekondi Eleven Wise in the previous Sunday in Elmina by 2-0. The post-match reactions from Wise, both coaches and fans were that the referee robbed them badly. 

Amissah was called on local radio stations for his reactions and he said his team was far better than Wise on the said day. Subsequent questions asked Amissah about some fans' wild plans to beat him at Sekondi in their game against Proud United brought the comment that might have fuelled the uncivil act. 

Amissah dared the fans, and to put it in simple terms without quoting him verbatim, he said he will cast a spell or curse anyone that assaults him in Sekondi. So the coach called the bluff of the embittered fans on Monday before the match day on Saturday. 

The days went by without any retraction of statements from either side - the fans and coach Amissah, until Saturday morning when Amissah was said to have redrew his comments. The impact of Amissah's latter comment was left to be tested later in the afternoon. 

Regulation time came to an end as Shark won the match. In fact, players of Proud United rushed on the referee but for the timely intervention of the police. The match officials enjoyed police protection till they were later escorted out peacefully. 

Meanwhile post match interviews were in session on the field. Around the same time, a fight broke out between a player of Sharks and personnel of St. John's ambulance. A technical team official of Sharks surprisingly joined his player to overpower the angry medical attendant. They were later separated but it was from that incident that attention got back to the visiting team. 

Provocation had the trigger it wanted to misbehave. While Sharks were making their way out, some fans singled out the Sharks team official for revenge on behalf of the St. John's ambulance gentleman. He received some slaps and was let go. 

Then coach Amissah was been ushered out by some fans but tempers were already high as some other fans also attacked the coach till he lost consciousness. Amissah was admitted at the Essikado hospital reportedly for about four hours before he recovered after receiving medical attention. 

Sharks have officially reported the case to the Sekondi regional police office for further investigation and possible prosecution. It is now a matter of law, the only source of hope to clamp down on the devil that keeps haunting our local football. 

Hooliganism and various assaulters at match venues keep accusing match officials of well schemed and broad day calculated cheating. The Ghana Football Association and its adjudicatory bodies keep fining and banning the culpable clubs. The referees also get suspended from Match Review Panel sittings. The laws of the country keep implicating nobody. 

Dr. Ndoum has announced his intention to abrogate the partnership between GN Bank and the GFA as a result of the perpetuating act of assaults. The attraction of a powerful business product like football is losing its corporate lure in Ghana because of authority's failure to nip the devil in the bud. 

The occurrence of these brutalities is gathering strength and power even in the month of May, as if we have forgotten about the 15th anniversary commemoration of the most infamous "May 9th" stadium disaster. 

Ghana never seems to do anything with the knowledge that is always on road shows and in talk shops. The media always reports the incidents but whoever has the wisdom and courage to act should help us. 

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