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At least 12 dead in stampede at El Salvador stadium

May 20 (Reuters) – At least 12 people died and an unspecified number were injured in a stampede at a soccer stadium in El Salvador on Saturday, the Central American country’s government said.

Alianza FC and Club Deportivo FAS were playing the second leg of their playoff quarter-final game at the Cuscatlan stadium in San Salvador, the country’s capital, when play was suspended after a stampede broke out in the general section.

The venue is one of the largest stadiums in Central America and has an official capacity of more than 44,000 fans.

“The Salvadoran Football Federation deeply regrets the events that occurred at the Cuscatlan Stadium,” the organisation wrote on Twitter.

“It also expresses solidarity with the relatives of those affected and deceased in this incident.”

The federation added that they would immediately request a report on the incident while also suspending the tournament after Saturday’s events, calling for a meeting with the Security Commission of Sports Venues on Sunday.

Soccer’s world governing body FIFA lamented the events and said a minute’s silence would be held before Sunday’s four matches at the U-20 World Cup in Argentina.

[1/4] A fan is attended to in an ambulance following a stampede prior to a soccer game between C.D. FAS Vs. Alianza F.C. at the Cuzcatlan stadium, in San Salvador, El Salvador May 20, 2023. REUTERS/ Jose Cabezas

“I extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims who lost their lives following the tragic incidents that have taken place in El Salvador,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino in a statement.

The continental soccer governing body CONCACAF, which also expressed its condolences, said it would support the investigation into the incident.

“The safety of participants and fans attending football matches is of utmost importance.

“The Confederation will fully support all efforts to clarify what happened and to implement measures to prevent such incidents in the future,” it said in a statement.

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele said the National Civil Police and the Attorney General’s Office would conduct a “thorough investigation” into the events at the stadium.

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“Everyone will be investigated: teams, managers, stadium, box office, league, federation, etc. Whoever the culprits are, they will not go unpunished,” Bukele wrote on Twitter.

The incident comes after a deadly stampede last year killed 135 spectators at a stadium in Indonesia’s East Java in October. Many were crushed as they fled for exits after police fired tear gas into the crowd.

Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

New York State Approves Spectator Behavior Policy

New York State Approves Spectator Behavior Policy

Andy Berg
May 22, 2023

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association has approved a new spectator sportsmanship policy that will go into effect at the start of the 2023-24 school year.

The three-tiered policy established guidelines for the discipline and reprimanding of poor behaviors by spectators. The behaviors range from verbal harassment to racist and sexist behavior to harassment of players, coaches or officials.

NYSPHSAA executive director Robert Zayas said the policy has been debated for at least the last two years.

“As we’ve seen spectator behavior decline, we realized the need to give some support to athletic administrators and site supervisors, to take action against fans that are making the student-athlete experience unsafe,” Zayas told The Buffalo News. “At times, sportsmanship is an issue at games and at events, and it’s not fair to the student-athletes. What this policy does, it gives the athletic director and site supervisors a policy to go off.

“In the past, this was done on a case-by-case basis. If one school did it, another school took a different tack. This formalizes what the process is.”

The NYSPHSAA policy outlines three levels of discipline.

  • A first warning means spectators will be directed to refrain from further comments or actions.
  • A second warning results in a personal discussion that addresses the behavior, between site administrators and the spectators.
  • The third action results in removal from an event. If the spectator or spectators refuse to leave the facility, then play will be stopped until they have left.

Zayas said the policy doesn’t have to be three-tiered, either, and that varying degrees of punitive measures can be used. For example, if someone uses racial and derogatory language at an event, that individual can be ejected without the warnings.

Any spectator who has been cited and wishes to return to events will need to complete the NFHS’ Parental Credential course, which involves two, one-hour online programs that address expectations for behavior at events.

If the individual declines to take the course, he/she will be barred for at least one game.

Texas A&M Texarkana Baseball Player Shot During Game

Texas A&M Texarkana Baseball Player Shot During Game

Paul Steinbach
May 1, 2023

Texarkana police are searching for two men after a Texas A&M University Texarkana baseball player was shot during a game Saturday against the University of Houston-Victoria.

As reported by Texarkana’s NBC affiliate KTAL, felony warrants have been issued for Kamauri Butler, age 17, for aggravated assault, and Demarco Banks, age 20, for deadly conduct.

Police said they received several calls of shots fired on Saturday at approximately 5:30 p.m. Soon after, a 911 call described a baseball player at the park had collapsed and may have been shot. According to Scripps News, he was standing in the bullpen when hit by a bullet fired several hundred feet away by one of the men shooting at the other.

Additional reporting indicated that the ballpark’s P.A. announcer said, “Shots fired! Shots fired!” The several hundred people in attendance, including Boy Scouts, scrambled for cover.

UHV Athletic Director Ashley Walyuchow released the following statement Saturday, as reported by the Victoria Advocate in Victoria, Texas.

“At around 5:30 this afternoon a shooting occurred in Texarkana near the park where our baseball team was playing Texas A&M-Texarkana.

“All of the UHV student-athletes and coaches are safe.

“Unfortunately, one of the Texarkana student athletes was struck by a stray bullet and taken to the hospital. At this time, I do not know his condition, but was told he was alert and talking when he was transported by ambulance.

“The shooting was not related to the game nor were any of the student-athletes thought to be the target of the shooting.

“Please keep the Texarkana student-athlete in your prayers.”

The player was reportedly taken to the hospital for emergency surgery.

According to KTAL, police began investigating the field and searching for evidence on Lynda Street, where the original calls of shots fired had originated. Authorities found that the two incidents were related.

Spent shell casings on Lynda Street allegedly led police to a home where two men allegedly began shooting at one another during a disturbance. 400 yards away, a ballplayer received a gunshot wound at the George Dobson Field at Spring Lake Park ballpark. Officials have said that the 18-year-old was standing in the bullpen when he was injured by a stray bullet.

Butler and Banks are no longer known to be in the area. Other men at the scene, however, were arrested.

Yankeengea Smith, age 49, was arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, plus two counts of possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine and ecstasy pills.)

Nathan Moore was arrested for tampering with evidence and possession of marijuana, and Marcell Beaver (19) for possession of marijuana.

The game has been declared a no contest.

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