8 dead, 50 injured in stampede after football match at Cameroon stadium

Jan 26, 2022: According to an AFP report, eight people were killed and about 50 injured in a crush outside a Cameroonian football stadium Monday ahead of an Africa Cup of Nations match.

Some 50 people were injured in the crush ahead of the Africa Cup Of Nations match, including two people with multiple injuries, two more with serious head wounds, and a baby that was reportedly trampled in the crowd.

Crowds tried to enter through the south gate of the capital, Yaounde’s Olembe Stadium, to watch host Comoros play. Although the stadium’s capacity of 60,000 has been limited due to fears of corona virus, the 60 per cent cap has been increased to 80 per cent when Cameroon’s Indomitable Lion’s play.

The Health Ministry said victims were “immediately transported” in ambulances, but “heavy road traffic slowed down the transport”.

A baby was also reportedly trampled by the crowd, the ministry added, although the infant was “immediately extracted and taken to Yaounde General Hospital” and is in a “medically stable” condition.

Africa Cup of Nations organising committee spokesperson Abel Mbengue told AFP: “There was a crush as can happen when there is a stampede. We are waiting for reliable information on the number of casualties in this tragic incident”.

Cameroon’s goal was to host the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019. However, due to Cameroon’s unpreparedness for the stadium games, the event was moved to Egypt in January this year. The CAF snatched the tournament from the country, citing delays in the construction of stadiums and infrastructure projects, as well as security concerns.

Overcrowding at football matches around the world has resulted in numerous deaths. In the Egyptian capital, Cairo, thousands of spectators tried to enter a stadium to watch a game in 2015, causing panic when police fired tear gas and bird shots, killing 19 people.

In April 2001, 43 people died in a stampede at Johannesburg’s Ellis Park stadium during a game between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs. While in Guatemala in October 1996, 90 people were killed in a crush during a World Cup qualification match between the host nation and Costa Rica at an overpacked stadium.

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