Awal Suleman, whose sprint across the Cape Coast Stadium’s pitch during Ghana’s 2021 AFCON Qualifier against South Africa captivated Ghanaians, will have to fork out GH¢2,400 for his five minutes of fame.
He was sentenced to pay the fine this morning by the Cape Coast Circuit Court.
Awal shot to fame, or perhaps infamy, depending on which side of the divide you belong on, when he made his way onto the pitch at the tail end of Ghana’s 2-0 win over South Africa and led security officials on a hilarious chase inside the Cape Coast Stadium.
That incident, however, landed the 25-year-old in police trouble and left him facing a public disturbance charge.
Various reports following the incident had indicated that Awal had been fulfilling a dare, as he had promised to complete the crazy celebration should Ghana win the match against South Africa by two goals to nil.
Others indicated that Awal was an avid admirer of Thomas Partey and just wanted a photo with him.
His act appeared to pay off as he got to meet his hero, who gave him a signed jersey.
‘Apam SHS Usain Bolt’
Jumping from the stands, Awal, a former 400 metres champion at Apam SHS, sprinted onto the pitch and evaded a number of the security officers who were chasing him.
With one officer in hot pursuit, he showed a clean pair of heels, and left the officer literally on the floor.
It was later revealed that Mr. Suleman was a 400m runner at Apam Senior High School.
Luck eventually ran out for Awal who was wearing a Chelsea jersey as he ran out of steam, stumbled and was tackled to the ground.
While the players stood around bemused, the fans in the stadium had cheered as the pitch invader made his way around the pitch.
He was hauled off the pitch by the police and spent the night at the University of Cape Coast police station.
His predicament led to many people including Black Stars captain, Andre Ayew pleading for his release, with the hashtag #FreeAwal trending as a result.
Awal was eventually let out of jail on bail with the aid of the Ghana Football Association and was cheered as he made his way through the streets of Cape Coast.
Partey also stated that he would have taken a photo with Awal.
Now it appears that this eager fan has finally had his wish.