By Alex Osei-Boateng
ACCRA, May 9 (Xinhua) -- The Ghana Football Association (GFA) said on Friday it had taken strong steps to improve security at match venues as the nation observes 13 years of the 2001 stadium tragedy that claimed the lives of 126 soccer fans.
The May 9, 2001 tragic incident at the stadium occurred during a local premier league match between Ghana's two most successful football clubs, Accra Hearts of Oak, and arch rivals Kumasi Asante Kotoko.
In a statement to mark the day, president of the GFA, Kwesi Nyantakyi, said it was a call to action, adding that, since then, the association had had a singular focus of preventing such an accident from happening again.
"With expanded background checks, effective policing and tougher penalties for violent acts, the GFA has taken strong steps to improve security at our matches," he said.
"But our work is far from over. We will continue to engage the police in identifying hot spots during matches and we will forge ahead with our plans of educating fans on the laws of the game and to be law abiding," said Nyantakyi, who is also an executive member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Nyantakyi said the GFA remembered the fallen friends and was committed to honor their memory by continuing its efforts to improve safety standards in Ghana football.
"Working together, we can make sure this tragedy is never repeated," he noted.