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Minister blames ‘reckless’ opening of stadium gate for lethal Cameroon crush | Soccer Information

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DOUALA: A stampede that led to the deaths of eight individuals outdoors an Africa Cup of Nations stadium was brought on by a “reckless” resolution to open a gate within the face of a “flood of individuals”, Cameroon’s sports activities minister stated Friday.
“That entry gate was momentarily closed by safety forces within the face of a surge of spectators regardless of different entry gates being in operation,” stated Narcisse Mouelle Kombi at a press convention in Douala.
“Overwhelmed by this surge of individuals, the safety forces took the reckless resolution to open the south gate, resulting in a crush,” which precipitated the tragedy on Monday on the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde.
The eight lifeless included a baby, whereas 38 individuals have been additionally injured.
Witnesses informed AFP {that a} mass of individuals have been crushed up in opposition to gates on the southern entrance earlier than police finally opened them.
A whole bunch of supporters then broke via, inflicting a stampede.
The minister additionally acknowledged that the variety of safety employees was “inadequate” on the 60,000-capacity Olembe Stadium in Cameroon’s capital for the last-16 match between the host nation and the Comoros.
Nonetheless, he blamed the variety of individuals making an attempt to get in with pretend or already-used tickets, and even with out tickets, for the stampede.
He additionally stated too many supporters arrived late regardless of gates opening 5 hours earlier than kick-off and the federal government closing faculties and public providers within the afternoon to permit individuals to look at and attend matches.
Within the aftermath of the tragedy, Patrice Motsepe, the president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), introduced that Sunday’s quarter-final because of be performed on the Olembe Stadium can be switched to the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium, additionally in Yaounde.
He additionally introduced that CAF wouldn’t permit different matches to be performed at Olembe Stadium if the Cameroonian authorities didn’t submit an investigation report by Friday.
“That gate was alleged to be open as a result of if it was open they’d have walked via, and for inexplicable causes it was closed,” Motsepe stated on Tuesday.
The sports activities minister stated a report on the investigation, whereas not but made public, had been delivered to CAF on Friday and added that the precedence for Cameroon’s authorities was to reopen the Olembe Stadium as quickly as doable.
“We’re completely not taking part in down what occurred however no nation is secure from the specter of such accidents or disasters,” he stated earlier than saying a number of measures supposed to make the venue secure.
The measures included shifting ticket and Covid-19 check checkpoints additional away from the stadium, rising the variety of safety personnel and banning youngsters beneath 11 from matches.
Crowds in any respect venues had been formally restricted to 60 p.c of capability for the event due to the pandemic, however the cap is raised to 80 p.c when Cameroon play.
For the second the second Cup of Nations semi-final, to be performed on February 3, and the February 6 closing are nonetheless scheduled at Olembe Stadium.
The primary semi-final, initially scheduled for Douala on February 2, has additionally been moved to the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium, however the cause given for that was the state of the taking part in floor in Cameroon’s financial capital.
Which means the ultimate recreation to be performed at Douala’s 50,000-capacity Japoma Stadium shall be on Saturday when Cameroon face Gambia within the quarter-finals.

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