At least six people have died and 40 others injured after a stampede outside the stadium during the Cameroon-Comoros match at the African Cup of Nations.
Meanwhile, the governing body of African football, CAF has issued a communique confirming the sad incident. “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”.
According to the Confederation of African Football, it is currently investigating the situation and trying to get more details on what transpired and has been in constant communication with the Cameroon government and the Local Organizing Committee.
Outlining the way forward, CAF said, “Tonight, the CAF President Dr Patrice Motsepe sent the General Secretary, Veron Mosengo-Omba to visit the supporters in hospital in Yaoundé”.
Several people are reported to have got injured as a result of the stampede with children being part of them. Meanwhile, the health ministry has reported that one child was among those who died.
Leocadia Bongben, a freelance journalist told the BBC that “People started shouting. A minute after that an ambulance came to the stadium, but when we got to the place the police would not allow us to get close to where the stampede was. It is really quite a sad situation that people go to watch a game and they end up dying there”.
This is not an isolated incident in African football with 40 people perishing in 2015 when people tried to enter a stadium in Cairo to watch a game between Zamalek and ENNPI and that was three years after 74 people died at Port Said following a riot by fans during a football match. Police fired tear gas to control the situation. Also, a game between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs at the Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg in 2001 resulted in the death of 43 people while 126 people lost their lives during a game between Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko on May 9, 2001, in Accra.
By: Elisha Aberiganya | Follow us on Twitter @activtvgh