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Eight people reported dead in crush at African Cup of Nations match

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At least eight people have been killed and dozens injured in a crush at an African Cup of Nations match in Cameroon.

The incident occurred on Monday at Olembe Stadium in the capital, Yaounde, where host country Cameroon were playing Comoros in the round-of-16.

Nurse Olinga Prudence from nearby Messassi hospital described the scene to reporters: “Some of the injured are in desperate condition. We will have to evacuate them to a specialised hospital.”

Tournament officials said more than 50,000 fans tried to cram into the stadium, which has capacity for 48,000. Olembe Stadium normally has room for 60,000 spectators, but Covid restrictions had cut that limit to 80 per cent.

“CAF is currently investigating the situation and trying to get more details on what transpired,” said the tournament organiser, Confederation of African Football.
“We are in constant communication with Cameroon government and the local organising committee," the statement continued.

Monday’s match went ahead despite the deadly crush, with Cameroon securing a 2-1 win to advance to the quarter-finals.

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On Thursday, roughly 40 fans spilled onto the pitch in the match between the Ivory Coast and Algeria at Japoma Stadium in Douala, Cameroon. The stadium appeared to be filled to overcapacity. No injuries were reported, but CAF fined both teams and Cameroon officials for insufficient security measures.

"Match officials reported that at the end of the match, the pitch was invaded by around 40 supporters, mainly from the East stand," the CAF statement reads. "The report noted that the number of security stewards was insufficient to control the commotion triggered by an Algerian supporter who invaded the pitch."

CAF’s disciplinary board issued a subsequent "warning to Cameroonian Football Federation for the lack of security during the said match and stern reminder to strictly comply with the safety regulations".

Published : January 25, 2022

By : THE NATION