Ghanaian fans give up trip to South Africa for security concern

10:22, June 01, 2010      

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For fear of attacks by gunmen, abductors and kidnapers at the Angolan enclave of Kabinda, scores of Ghanaian soccer fans gave up their plan to a torturous journey from West Africa to South Africa to support Ghana at the World Cup, the organizer announced here on Monday.

The decision was taken on the advice of security experts who said the Kabinda province of Angola, a war zone which was an unavoidable part of the route to South Africa, posed a great threat to the lives and safety of the supporters, said the president of the Ghanaian Supports Union, Abraham Boakye.

Last January, the Togo's national football team, on their way to the African Cup of Nations in Angola, was attacked by gunmen at Kabinda, leaving two players dead and six others injured, though the team had an Angolan military escort.

In an interview with Xinhua, Boakye said the security team, which had planned to accompany them on the trip, had gathered intelligence reports, indicating that the Ghanaian contingent would not be a welcomed idea in the oil rich war torn enclave of Kabinda.

"Besides, the rebels at Kabinda may want to kidnap or abduct our supporters to use them as ransom for demands from the international community and to advance their own course," he added.

Boakye and the members of the Ghana Supporters Union were quite distressed about the cancellation of the trip.

"In fact I didn't know what to do because people had so well prepared and saved for the historic trip. There was so much pressure on me as the members kept coming to inquire the next line of action. Some of these boys had even sold off their personal belongings to pay the bus fare for the journey. The truth is most of us have still not recovered from the disappointment," he said.

Sources close to the government told Xinhua that in its quest to alleviate the plight of supporters, the government was putting in place structures to sponsors some hundred fans to South Africa.

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