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AFCON: Report into deadly stadium crush will focus on who closed gate that led to loss of lives

By Aleks Klosok, Joel Kouam and Mitchell McCluskey, CNN

January 25, 2022

Douala, Cameroon (CNN)The president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has said a report into a stadium crush in the Cameroonian capital of Yaoundé will center on who closed the gate at the Olembe Stadium.

At least eight people were killed and 38 injured in Monday’s incident during the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) game between Cameroon and Comoros.
The crush occurred at the south entrance of the stadium as fans attempted to watch the round of 16 match, which ended in a 2-1 victory to Cameroon.
“If [the gate] was open, [spectators] would have walked through and it was closed for inexplicable reasons,” CAF president Patrice Motsepe said during a press conference on Tuesday.
“If that gate was open as it was supposed to we wouldn’t have had this loss of life.”
Motsepe also vowed that such an incident will “never happen again” at an AFCON tournament, adding that “there were things that should have been foreseen.”
A purse is seen on the ground in the aftermath of Monday's crush.

A purse is seen on the ground in the aftermath of Monday’s crush.
He said: “There is zero tolerance, absolute zero tolerance in the circumstances which could result in people being injured at a stadium or losing their lives.
It was also confirmed at the press conference that the AFCON quarterfinal due to be played at Olembe Stadium on Sunday will be moved to Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaoundé, subject to approval from CAF’s executive committee.
A statement from the government of Cameroon said 31 people were lightly injured and seven were seriously injured in the crush.
“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,” the statement added.
The deceased were taken to the Yaoundé Emergency Centre, while the injured were divided between four health facilities in Yaoundé.
In a statement on Tuesday, FIFA — football’s global governing body — sent “deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims who lost their lives.”
It added: “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 at this difficult moment.”
At least eight people were killed in the crush during game between Cameroon and Comoros.

At least eight people were killed in the crush during game between Cameroon and Comoros.
Monday’s incident came a day after another tragedy in the capital.
At least 16 people were killed when a fire tore through a nightclub early Sunday, according to a government statement. Another eight people were seriously injured and are in intensive care.
At a news conference held at the scene, the director of the Yaoundé Central Hospital said several people were in critical condition.
Explosions from fireworks caused the ceiling at the Liv Nightclub to catch fire, resulting in two strong explosions that caused panic among those in the venue, according to the statement from the Cameroonian Ministry of Communication.
Biya ordered an in-depth investigation into the incident and sent his condolences to the victims’ families, the government statement added.

CNN’s Joel Kouam reported from Cameroon and Mitchell McCluskey wrote from Atlanta. CNN’s Niamh Kennedy, Nimi Princewill and Schams Elwazer contributed to this report.

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