Jump to content

Ivory Coast Football Stadium Crush Kills 19

Recommended Posts

Ivory Coast football stadium crush kills 19

Wall collapses at World Cup qualifier

Published: 30/03/2009


AT LEAST 19 people died and 132 were injured when a wall collapsed at a stadium shortly before Ivory Coast defeated Malawi in a World Cup qualifying match.


It happened at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny stadium in the former capital city of the Ivory Coast, Abidjan.


The stadium was sold out after cut-price tickets were put on sale.


Ivory Coast

Link to comment

Wee video here:




Fans blamed for Ivorian stampede


Ticketless fans were behind Sunday's stadium stampede that left 19 people dead in Ivory Coast, officials say.


The government is to hold an emergency meeting over the tragedy which left 132 people injured at the Houphouet-Boigny arena in the city of Abidjan.


Police tried to keep the crowds back with tear gas but a wall collapsed and in the panic fans were crushed.


Casualties were treated at the stadium as the World Cup qualifier went ahead and hosts Ivory Coast beat Malawi 5-0.


Ivory Coast Prime Minister Guillaume Soro is holding a crisis meeting on Monday with ministers and football officials to discuss the tragedy.


'Extreme sorrow'


World football's governing body has asked for a full report into what caused the tragedy as it sent condolences to the victims.


Fifa President Sepp Blatter said: "I wish to express extreme sorrow and extend our condolences to the Ivorian football community and, most importantly, to family, friends and loved ones following the tragic deaths in Abidjan yesterday."


Earlier reports said that 22 people had been killed.


The national football association had told those without the prized tickets to stay away from the stadium.


But thousands ignored the message hoping to see Ivory Coast's Europe-based football stars.


The big attraction was home-grown hero Didier Drogba, who is regarded almost as a demi-god by his countrymen, says BBC Ivory Coast correspondent John James.


The Chelsea striker - returning from injury - scored twice.


Our correspondent says it seems many fans were angry when the gates were shut.


A crowd of supporters without tickets were reportedly pushing and shoving 40 minutes before the start of the game.


Ivorian Sports Minister Dagobert Banzio said there seemed to be more people outside the 35,000-capacity stadium than inside.


"Some spectators who didn't have tickets tried to force their way in," he said.


"Unfortunately they broke down one of the big gates and in the stampede people were crushed."


Meanwhile, families were recovering the bodies of their loved ones from Abidjan's main mortuary.


One bereaved relative, Lassana Toure, wept as he collected the body of his 17-year-old son, Aboubacar.


"He told me he was going to support the Elephants, and he never came back," Mr Toure told AFP news agency, referring to the national team.


Abandoned shoes scattered near a twisted entrance gate to the stadium were the only traces of the tragedy on Monday.


The arena has just been refurbished but our correspondent says at this stage it seems the sheer number of people who wanted to get into the match proved too much.


Other Europe-based stars playing in Sunday's game were Drogba's Chelsea team-mate Salomon Kalou, as well as Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Eboue of Arsenal.


The home side also featured Tottenham's Didier Zokora, Sevilla's Ndri Romaric and Marseille forward Bakari Kone.


The tragedy in Abidjan is the second such incident during qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup in Africa.


In June 2008, at least eight people died in a crush in Liberia as spectators jostled to get into an already overcrowded stadium in Monrovia for the match between Liberia and The Gambia.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...