38 Injured, At Least 8 Dead After Stampede at African Cup of Nations Soccer Game

·2 min read
This picture taken on January 7, 2022 shows a general view of the Olembe stadium in Yaounde, two days before the start of The African Cup of Nations (CAN).
This picture taken on January 7, 2022 shows a general view of the Olembe stadium in Yaounde, two days before the start of The African Cup of Nations (CAN).

Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty

At least eight people were killed and several others injured following a stampede outside of a soccer stadium in Cameroon Monday night.

The government of Cameroon announced that the stampede occurred outside of the Olembe Stadium while thousands of fans attempted to watch the matchup between Cameroon and Comoros for the Africa Cup of Nations soccer tournament, CNN reports.

"Facing this tragedy, the seriousness of which has provoked emotion and consternation, the Head of State [Paul Biya] sends his saddest condolences to the badly hit families, as well as his wishes of a speedy recovery to the injured, to whom he sends the profound compassion of the entire nation," government officials said in a statement, per the outlet.

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Additionally, 38 people were reportedly injured during the stampede and are currently being treated across four hospitals in the Cameroon capital of Yaounde. Manaouda Malachie, Cameroon's Minister of Public Health, visited several of the victims in the hospital, noting that seven of the 38 injured were in critical condition, according to ABC News.

This picture taken on January 25, 2022 at the entrance of Olembe stadium in Yaounde shows barriers on the ground at the scene of the stampede. - Eight people were killed and many more injured in a crush outside a Cameroonian football stadium on January 24, 2022 ahead of an Africa Cup of Nations match.
This picture taken on January 25, 2022 at the entrance of Olembe stadium in Yaounde shows barriers on the ground at the scene of the stampede. - Eight people were killed and many more injured in a crush outside a Cameroonian football stadium on January 24, 2022 ahead of an Africa Cup of Nations match.

Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty

Following the game, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), which organizes the Africa Cup of Nations, announced in a press release that they are investigating the incident.

"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 Organizing Committee," the statement read.

"Tonight, the CAF President Dr Patrice Motsepe sent the General Secretary, Veron Mosengo-Omba to visit the supporters in hospital in Yaoundé," it continued.

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The Olembe Stadium has a capacity of 60,000. About 57,000 people were at the stadium when the stampede took place, however, government officials say the crowd was supposed to be restricted to 40,000 because of the COVID pandemic, ABC reports.

"When the security guys finally began opening the gates, with all the anxiety and after having been locked out ... people pushed the security guys away and forced themselves inside," Marie-Therese Asongafack, a witness, told the outlet. "That's where it all began ... By the time I found myself in front, there were people on the ground being trampled on."

On Tuesday, FIFA released a statement sending its "deepest condolences" to those killed and injured in the stampede, adding, "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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