The 40,000-capacity football stadium in Accra, Ghana is the home stadium of Accra Hearts of Oak football club and the Great Olympics football club. The Ghanaian national team also play their home matches here sometimes.
The stadium is famous for hosting the matches between Hearts of Oak and their rivals Kumasi Asante Kotoko.
Built in 1960, the stadium has hosted many matches between rival clubs Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante and international matches between rivals Nigeria and Ghana. The stadium initially had a capacity of 20,000 but when Ghana received the bid to host the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, the stadium underwent major changes to comply with the FIFA guidelines.
The newly constructed stadium had a capacity of 40,000. The broken and rusted iron gates were replaced and a new modern scoreboard was added along with the addition of lawn mowers, sprinklers, water hoses and replacement of toilet facilities. The broken seats were replaced and the entire stadium was given a new paint job as well.
The renovations during 2006-07 for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations cost $ 29.5 million sanctioned by the Confederation of African Football.
The stadium had such grandeur that the local city clubs Accra Hearts of Oak and Great Olympics shifted to the Accra Stadium and made it their home ground.
In 2004, the New Patriotic Party changed the stadium’s name to Ohene Djan Sports Stadium in honor of Ghana’s first sports director. However, the National Democratic Congress changed the name back to Accra Sports Stadium in 2011 to reflect the ideals of the people on whose land the stadium is constructed.
The AFCON 2008 final was played in the Ohene Djan Stadium which was won by Egypt. After the tournament the condition of the stadium steadily deteriorated.
The 1978 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals was hosted here at the Accra Sports Stadium which Ghana won 2-0 against Uganda.
The 2000 AFCON tournament was co-hosted by Ghana and Nigeria. A total of 9 matches were played at the stadium including the semi-finals. The title was won by Cameroon who defeated Nigeria 4-3 on penalties.
The final of the 2008 AFCON tournament was held at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium. Egypt defeated Cameroon 1-0, winning their fifth title. Apart from the final, a semi-final and many group stage matches were hosted at the stadium.
The Accra Sports Disaster of 2001 is regarded as Africa’s deadliest stadium disaster till date, with a death toll of 126.
During a football match between Accra Oak of Hearts and Asante Kotoko, due to unrest and hooliganism from the fans, the police had to intervene which caused a stampede, leading to the suffocation amongst public.
Reportedly, the poor quality of the stadium, and the negligence of authority caused the mishap.