At least eight football fans died in a stadium stampede on Monday (25 Jan) in Cameroon, as the Africa Cup of Nations got underway. The government confirmed in a statement that another 38 people were injured at the Yaounde Olembe Stadium before Cameroon kicked off against Comoros.
Fans were allegedly crushed at the entrance gate after crowds were bussed in to watch the matches free. There had unfortunately been a low turnout in the first round of games at the new stadiums, which were specifically built for the football tournament, so Cameroon authorities had arranged mass transport and given out free tickets to attract fans.
Social media images also showed fans heading into the stadium through a small gap. “Eye witnesses said many attempted to scale walls or push down gates to gain access,” reported Reuters.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF), said in a statement that it was investigating: “CAF is aware of the incident that took place at Olembe Stadium during the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations fixture between hosts Cameroon and Comoros tonight, 24 January 2022. CAF is currently investigating the situation and trying to get more details on what transpired. We are in constant communication with Cameroon government and the Local Organizing Committee. Tonight, the CAF President Dr Patrice Motsepe sent the General Secretary, Veron Mosengo-Omba to visit the supporters in hospital in Yaoundé.”
The match went ahead. Cameroon beat 10-man Comoros Islands 2-1 to advance to the quarter-finals. In the other match of the day, Gambia beat Guinea 1-0.
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Source: Reuters and CAF Media
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