At least eight people were killed and 38 injured after a stampede at a Africa Cup of Nations match in Cameroon last night. The crush came before the host country’s 2-1 win over the Comoros at the Olembe Stadium in Yaoundé.
The stadium in Cameroon’s capital city has a capacity of 60,000 people and was only meant to be 80% full for the last round of 16 match due to Covid-19 restrictions. However, officials said about 50,000 fans managed to attend the match, Sports sky reported.
Witnesses described “chaos off the ground” as thousands of fans struggled to gain access, BBC speak. And videos showed crowds of “screaming football fans crushed at the entrance” of the stadium.
The incident was the second serious blow to the country within a day, ESPN reported. On Sunday, at a nightclub in Yaoundé, at least 17 people died from a fire caused by a series of explosions.
‘Discussions are tough and tough’
The Confederation of African Football (CAF), the organizers of the Cup of Nations, released a statement last night saying it was “investigating the situation and trying to get more details on what happened”. .
At a press conference in Yaoundé today, CAF president Patrice Motsepe said “we will have very tough and difficult discussions behind closed doors”. He added: “Obviously there have been failures, things that could have been prevented. Appropriate measures [must be] in place to make sure this doesn’t happen again. ”
After the tragic incident, world football’s governing body FIFA sends “deepest condolences” to the families and friends of the victims who lost their lives.
The quarterfinals have moved
A source with knowledge of the stadium’s layout “considered that the number of entrances may not be enough compared to the number of people trying to get in”, Guardians speak. A quarter-final will take place at the stadium on Sunday, but the match has now been moved to Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaoundé.
Olembe Stadium, newly built for the tournament, hosted the opening ceremony and is also expected to host the semi-finals on February 3 and Cup of Nations final on Sunday, February 6. “Serious questions” will now be asked about “the possibility of hosting high-capacity events for the rest of the tournament,” said The Guardian.
Cameroon, which is hosting Africa’s biggest tournament for the first time in 50 years, will play its quarter-final against the Gambia on Saturday.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/sport/football/955529/africa-cup-of-nations-stampede-cameroon Africa Cup of Nations: 8 people killed after stampede in Cameroon