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Sports betting, police unit for sporting top on agenda for police

The Ghana Police Service as part of its Proactive Preventive Policing Strategy met with the executive members of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and officials of all the 18 premier league clubs at the police headquarters in Accra.

The engagement was aimed at identifying peculiar challenges associated with sports security in Ghana with the aim of addressing same.

Leading the discussion was the President of the GFA, Mr. Kurt Edwin Simon Okraku. Concerns raised at the meeting included an inadequate number of police personnel deployed for stadium duties, lack of CCTV cameras in the stadia, hooliganism, lack of prosecution of sports-related crimes, narcotic use by spectators during matches and the management of stadium gates.

Irregularities in sports betting and how it affects the integrity of games, match-fixing, as well as the need for a dedicated police unit for sporting activities, were also highlighted.

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Dr. George Akuffo Dampare and some members of the Police Management Board (POMAB) responded to the concerns raised and gave the assurance that the Police Service was determined to guarantee the safety of spectators, match officials, players and other patrons at all football games in the country.

The IGP, therefore, urged all present to do their part by resolving any internal issues that have the potential to disturb the peace before, during and after matches.

He also indicated the establishment of a Joint Implementation Taskforce comprising representatives from the Police, the GFA and the clubs to work towards resolving the concerns raised at the meeting.

On their part, the executive members of the GFA and the club officials called for more frequent engagements and requested that the interaction be extended to other stakeholders in the sporting industry such as Referees and Spectator groups.

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