Africa Cup of Nations: At least eight people killed in Cameroon stadium crush
One child is said to be among the dead with several more injured at the incident outside of the Paul Biya Stadium in Yaounde.
Eight people have died following a crush outside the the Paul Biya Stadium in Cameroon’s capital city of Yaounde ahead of an Africa Cup of Nations match between the host nation and Comoros.
The incident, which took place on Monday night, has also resulted in injuries to a further 38 people with seven said to be in a serious condition, while a child is reported to be amongst the casualties.
The Cameroon government have released an official statement, which read: “The deceased were taken to the Yaoundé Emergency Centre for the appropriate formalities, and the injured were distributed to four health facilities in the city of Yaoundé, where they were immediately taken care of on very high instructions from Paul Biya (President of Cameroon).
“Faced with this tragedy, the gravity of which arouses emotion and consternation, the head of state sends his most saddened condolences to the hard-hit families, as well as his wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured, to which he associated the deep compassion of the entire nation.”
Meanwhile, the Confederation of African Football (Caf), have also commented.
A statement said:“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 organising committee.
“Tonight, the CAF president, Dr Patrice Motsepe, sent the general secretary, Veron Mosengo-Omba, to visit the supporters in hospital in Yaoundé.”
FIFA, the governing body of world football, also released a statement sending their condolences to the families and friends of the deceased.
Several reports emerged last night as the situation developed with journalist Charles Ayitey posting a video to social media of panicked football fans “struggling to get access to the Paul Biya stadium”.
@CharlesAyitey_: “Six people are reported to have been killed and dozens hurt in a crush outside a stadium hosting an Africa Cup of Nations match in Cameroon. Video footage showed football fans struggling to get access to the Paul Biya stadium in a neighbourhood of the capital Yaounde.”
Cameroon won the match with Comoros 2-1 and will now play The Gambia in the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations.
That match is dues to take place at the Japoma Stadium in Douala while Cameroon’s next two matches, should the progress so far, are in line to be played at Paul Biya Stadium where the tragic incident took place.
The venue in Olembe has a capacity of 60,000 but Covid-19 restrictions meant that AFCON matches held there were to be limited to 80 percent capacity - around 48,000.
However, reports have said that match-officials believed over 50,000 people were trying to attend the match while journalist Buster Emil Kirchner, speaking to the BBC, saw "a lot of chaos" by the stadium's gates.
He said: "It was hectic - people running, people climbing fences, people breaking through the barricades.
Krichner also told the BBC he saw many people without tickets trying to "force themselves in".
The same report says that Nick Cavell, a producer for BBC Africa, was at the match and said news of the crush did not seem to filter through to the crowd until there were reports on social media.
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