Afcon stadium crush: ‘The force behind forced us to fall’

The chairman of the African Football Confederation has admitted that the force behind forced them to fall. He also said that he is not surprised with how things turned out last Saturday evening at a Ghana-Senegal match in Accra, as it was evident long before then.

Hillsborough disaster is a football stadium crush that occurred on 15 April 1989. The incident led to the deaths of 96 Liverpool supporters, making it one of the worst disasters in British sporting history.

Scene of Olembe StadiumThe quarter-final that was supposed to take place at the Olembe Stadium has been rescheduled.

Ndombi Irene, 46, was ecstatic as she entered Yaounde’s Olembe Stadium with her son on Monday for Cameroon’s Africa Cup of Nations knockout clash against Comoros. However, when she approached the stadium’s boundary, her visions turned into nightmares as eight people were killed in a crush. She explains her tale to Piers Edwards of Sport Africa.

“As we approached the first gate, where our Covid card and match ticket were meant to be examined, I realized the entry was too narrow.”

The cops then abruptly requested that we come to a halt. I’m not sure why they did that; maybe they needed to run a check or something.

I saw from the throng outside and the way the cops were handling things that it could be tough for everyone to get inside the stadium before the game started at 8 p.m.

It was too late by the time I realized it – I couldn’t go back and I couldn’t move ahead. I was trapped in the midst of the mob, where the pressure from behind was forcing us to keep going.

The audience behind didn’t realize what was going on in front of them – that those in front were not moving – so they continued approaching.

I wasn’t the first person in line. In front of me, there were other folks. I was maybe ten rows from the front, in the thick of everything. I was only there for about 15 minutes, and it was really painful.

The smaller moveable barriers [not the set iron railings outside the Olembe Stadium] were pushed over when the pressure got too much, and people fell on them. The barriers, which were [held down by breeze blocks] to prevent people from crossing, injured and maybe smothered several.

The throng was so large that a stampede sprang out out of nowhere. The power from behind caused people in front of us to tumble, and those behind us stepped right over us, crushing us. The dust on the floor smothered the majority of us.

I was genuinely choking and couldn’t see since my eyesight was blurry. I was only able to see again after some time had passed. I couldn’t speak for a long time [and for a long time thereafter].

When the throng stampeded forward, I guess I was on the ground for approximately five minutes until someone was able to pull me out.

I was basically pulled out of the mob by my head, and that’s how I was rescued.

Simply said, I am very blessed. Only two of us were alive at the hospital where the handful of us who were unconscious were transported. Seven people were dead around me, therefore I consider myself quite lucky to be alive.

I was with my kid and three of my schoolmates. We’re all still alive.

To be honest, I don’t believe the security personnel anticipated the circumstance. They had not anticipated it. It would have been preferable, in my opinion, if they had allowed people to queue up even 300 meters before the entrance.

More than 1,000 people were estimated to be at the gate at the moment, and the available police officers were unable to handle the mob.

At one point, the police were successful in forcing the mob back to the rear, ensuring that none of the 1,000 people walked over those who had fallen — if this had been the case, there would have been further injuries.

That was a terrible experience; I’ll never attend to another football game.”

  • african nations championship
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