At least six people dead and 40 injured in a crush ahead of last-16 game between Cameroon and Comoros; stadium has a capacity of 60,000 but was only supposed to be 80 per cent full due to Covid restrictions; 50,000 fans tried to attend the match, officials say
Tuesday 25 January 2022 00:16, UK
At least six people have died in a crush outside the stadium hosting the Africa Cup of Nations game between Cameroon and Comoros.
Naseri Paul Biya, governor of the central region of Cameroon, said there could be more casualties.
The crush happened as crowds struggled to get access to the stadium in the Cameroon capital of Yaounde to watch the host country play Comoros in a last-16 knockout game.
Videos on social media show fans storming the stadium gates, while pictures appear to show fans laying injured on the ground.
Officials at the nearby Messassi hospital said they had received at least 40 injured people from the crush.
“Some of the injured are in desperate condition,” said Olinga Prudence, a nurse. “We will have to evacuate them to a specialized hospital.”
Officials said around 50,000 people had tried to attend the match. The stadium has a capacity of 60,000 but it was not meant to be more than 80 per cent full for the game due to restrictions on the size of the crowd because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The stadium, which hosted the tournament’s opening ceremony, was built in preparation for the delayed competition, which kicked off earlier this month.
Cameroon won the game 2-1 to reach the quarter-finals.
Confederation of African Football Statement
“CAF is aware of the incident that took place at Olembe Stadium during the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations fixture between hosts Cameroon and Comoros tonight, 24 January 2022.
“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.
“Tonight, the CAF President Dr Patrice Motsepe sent the General Secretary, Veron Mosengo-Omba to visit the supporters in hospital in Yaoundé.”
Source : Sky Sports