U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Reporter assaulted by security for Ghanaian national soccer team

Incident Details

Date of Incident
October 14, 2023


Was the journalist targeted?
USA TODAY Sports/Jim Dedmon

Ghana’s national soccer team takes the field in a friendly match against Mexico on Oct. 14, 2023. A security guard for the team allegedly assaulted sports journalist Seidu Adamu earlier that day at the team’s hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina.

— USA TODAY Sports/Jim Dedmon
October 14, 2023

Sports journalist Seidu Adamu was assaulted by a private security guard for the Black Stars, Ghana’s national soccer team, at a hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Oct. 14, 2023.

Adamu, a U.S.-based journalist for sports website 442 Ghana, wrote on social media that he was covering the team’s activities ahead of its match against Mexico that day. Shortly after he greeted the team’s manager and a FIFA employee, he wrote that one of the Black Stars’ security guards attacked him without warning in the lobby of the team’s hotel and attempted to strangle him.

“I did not sustain any major injury as a result of the attack, but I still feel some pain in my neck and arm and bruises around my ears,” Adamu wrote. “To have yourself strangled in the neck by a near 7-foot tall, 350-pound [man] is no Joke.”

He did not respond to multiple requests for additional comment.

Adamu posted that he had filed a report with local police concerning the attack, and that he would no longer travel to Tennessee to cover the Black Stars’ match against the U.S. men’s national team on Oct. 17.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has listed the case as inactive, according to a copy of the incident report shared with the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.

The Sports Writers Association of Ghana — of which Adamu is a member — condemned the attack in a statement and said that its president, Kwabena Yeboah, lodged a complaint with the Ghana Football Association.

“Mr. Yeboah also took the opportunity to emphasize the need for the [GFA] leadership to hold their errant official accountable, given that he had previously been implicated in similar acts of aggression towards journalists in the course of their duties,” the statement said.

During a radio show for CITI 97.3 FM, a radio station that broadcasts from Ghana, multiple sports reporters criticized the GFA for not releasing a statement condemning the attack and said that the SWAG statement was toothless.

“I think that statement is inadequate, I think that statement is lightweight and I think that statement does not in any way protect journalists from a future that involves these types of incidents,” show host Benjamin Nketsia said. “At this point we need to advise ourselves about attending GFA programs.”

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].