Football

AFCON: Quarter-final at Olembe Stadium postponed after eight people died in crash 

OLEMBE STADIUM AFCON MATCHES POSTPONED AFTER 8 DIED IN THE CRUSH.

The quarter-final matches scheduled at Olembe Stadium have been postponed following the death of at least 8 people among other 40 reported to have been injured during the crush ahead of the last-16 game between Cameroon and Comoros at Olembe Stadium on Monday night.

According to the officials, 50,000 supporters tried to make their way into the sports facility despite Covid-19 restrictions on the capacity to access the facility. Olembe Stadium is confirmed to have a capacity of 60,000 but was only supposed to be 80 per cent full.

The Olembe Stadium has a suburb panorama north of the Cameroon capital Yaounde, officially opened in September 2021. The 2021 AFCON quarter-finals scheduled on Sunday at the ill-fated sports facility have been postponed following the deadly crash at the ground that killed eight people on Monday night. Among were other 40 people reported to have been injured after spectators were involved in a crash outside the stadium, which was hosting the last-16 game between hosts Cameroon and Comoros.

  Cameroon National Team moves to the quarter-finals after the 2-1 win over Comoros.

The governor of the central region of Cameroon Naseri Paul Biya said the number of casualties could still increase. Olembe Stadium was meant to host the last-eight tie between the winners of Ivory Coast vs Egypt and Morocco vs Malawi but, during a press conference on Tuesday, the Confederation of African Football president Patrice Motsepe called for an immediate investigation. Motsepe further noted that the matches scheduled for Olembe Stadium on Sunday will not take place but rather to take place at Ahmadou Ahidjo.

According to the eye-witnesses at the stadium said children were among the victims caught up in the crush, adding that it happened when stadium stewards closed the gates and stopped allowing people in. Some of the fans are said to have come to be part of the atmosphere, among those who did not have tickets, beyond expectations thousands of people more than the required capacity arrived. Officials at the nearby Messassi hospital were admitting injured people from the crush, rushed to the hospital by police and civilians.

 The panoramic interior view of the Olembe stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon.

The officials said the hospital was not capable of treating all of them, forcing some of the victims who were in desperate condition to be rushed to a specialized hospital. The Olembe Stadium in Yaoundé was one of the venues that were under scrutiny. It is the main stadium for the month-long tournament and is due to stage three more games; including the final on February 6. Cameroon won Monday night’s game 2-1 to reach the quarter-finals.

Tonight, the CAF President Dr Patrice Motsepe sent the General Secretary, Veron Mosengo-Omba to visit the fans in the hospital in Yaounde. FIFA sends its deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims who lost their lives following the tragic incident that took place at Olembe Stadium. The thoughts and prayers of the global football community are with the victims, the ones who have been injured in this incident, and all the staff of both CAF and the Cameroonian Football Association (FECAFOOT) at this difficult moment.”

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