Committee on Ghana-Lesotho match blackout submits report

The five-member Committee set up to investigate the circumstances that led to the blackout at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, Kumasi  during the Ghana-Lesotho World Cup qualifying match says it could not establish any evidence of sabotage.

The Committee, however, faulted those who attended the “Stakeholders Meeting” ahead of the football match for not discussing alternative power supply arrangements at the stadium.

The findings were contained in the Committee’s Report presented to the Ashanti Regional Minister, Dr Kwaku  Agyemang-Mensah, in Kumasi on Friday.

The Committee, chaired by Mr Alex Daary, Regional Director of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), was tasked to unravel the circumstances that caused the sudden failure of the floodlights and recommend ways to forestall future occurrence.

It was given seven days to complete the job but missed the deadline.

Mr Daary in presenting the Report said their investigations showed that the floodlights functioned from the 35th minute of the first half up to the 9th minute of the second half before it went out.

They found out that the unfortunate incident was caused by a problem with the “feed pumps” of the 1,000kVA generator that powers the floodlights.

Switching supply from the generator to the national grid via the Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) could not be effected because the manual and automatic modes had both been disabled during the installation.

The Committee observed that if a simulation test had been done by the stadium technicians after the installation, the problem could have been detected.

It however gave high marks to the Technical Team of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) for their ingenuity in detecting the disablement of the ATS and restoring power supply to the floodlights.

It said the same could not be said for the Technical Staff of the Baba Yara Sports Stadium as the Committee noted that they “do not have adequate technical capacity to manage the generator sets and control panel facilities.”

Dr Agyemang-Mensah thanked the Committee for the due diligence and said its findings and recommendations would be forwarded to the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the appropriate action to be taken.

It would be recalled that the Ghana-Lesotho match came to abrupt end in the 54th minute due to the failure of the stadium floodlights, making visibility poor thus making the match officials to delay the continuation of the match for almost an hour.

Ghana was then leading their opponents 4-0.

After the about one hour delay to restore the lights, the Black Stars went ahead to add three more goals to beat Lesotho 7-0.

Source: GNA

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