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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.

‘Significant missed opportunity’ to prevent Manchester Arena attack, report finds


Bradley Rial | 02 March 2023

The third volume of an inquiry into the 2017 Manchester Arena attack has found that there was a significant missed opportunity by MI5 to take action that might have prevented the disaster.

The report by inquiry chairman Sir John Saunders stated that it is not possible to reach any conclusion “on the balance of probabilities or to any other evidential standard” as to whether the attack would have been prevented.

However, the report added that there was a “realistic possibility that actionable intelligence” could have been obtained which might have led to actions preventing Salman Abedi carrying out the attack.

The attack, which killed 22 people, took place on May 22, 2017 following an Ariana Grande concert at the arena. The third volume of the inquiry, which has been released today (Thursday), details Saunders’ findings and recommendations on radicalisation and preventability surrounding the attack.

The report states that the reasons for the “significant missed opportunity” included a failure by a Security Service (MI5) officer to act swiftly enough. The inquiry also identified problems with the sharing of information between the Security Service and counter terrorism policing, although it stated that none of these problems were likely to have had any “causative significance”.

Saunders said: “It remains quite impossible to say whether any different or additional action taken by the authorities could have prevented the attack. It might have done; it might not have done.”

Following the publication of the report, MI5 director general Ken McCallum apologised for the agency’s actions before the attack. McCallum said: “Having examined all the evidence, the chair of the inquiry has found that ‘there was a realistic possibility that actionable intelligence could have been obtained which might have led to actions preventing the attack’. I deeply regret that such intelligence was not obtained.

“Gathering covert intelligence is difficult – but had we managed to seize the slim chance we had, those impacted might not have experienced such appalling loss and trauma. I am profoundly sorry that MI5 did not prevent the attack.

“The people of MI5 and our policing partners come to work every day to stop terrorism.  We continually work to improve the counter-terrorism system; since the terrible events of 2017 we have made more than 100 improvements. But we are determined to do more. As the chair now considers his recommendations, we will engage fully. Where there are opportunities to strengthen the UK’s defences further, MI5 will act.

“We will continue to do everything in our power to keep our country safe from hidden threats. MI5 exists to stop atrocities. To all those whose lives were forever changed on that awful night: I am so sorry that MI5 did not prevent the attack at the Manchester Arena.”

In a statement reported by Sky News, the families of the victims said: “Today’s report has been deeply painful to read, but also eye-opening. On the issue of the preventability of this attack, inevitably the report provides less information than we would have wanted.

“But it is now very clear that there was a failure to properly assess key intelligence about Salman Abedi; a failure to put it into proper context; and – most catastrophic of all – a delay in acting on it.

“As a result of these failures, at the very least, a real possibility of preventing this attack was lost. This is a devastating conclusion for us. The failures exposed in this report are unacceptable.”

The second volume of the report was released in November and found that one of the victims of the attack could have survived if the response from the emergency services had been quicker.

Saunders said that the performance of the emergency services was “far below the standard it should have been”. Saunders also stated that it “is likely that inadequacies in the emergency response” prevented the survival of John Atkinson, who was aged 28 when he died.

The first volume of the report was published in June 2021 and criticised venue operator SMG and security provider Showsec for the measures put in place before the attack, with Saunders stating that there were missed opportunities to prevent the “devastating impact” of the disaster.

At the time of the attack, the arena was operated by SMG, which has since merged with AEG Facilities to form ASM Global. SMG contracted Showsec, which specialises in crowd control, to provide crowd management and event security for the Ariana Grande concert.

Two women killed in stampede at GloRilla concert in Rochester

Two women are dead and another critically injured when a large crowd surged in early March following a concert at the Main Street Armory in Rochester.

Three women were taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where one of the three was pronounced dead, according to Rochester police.  On Monday evening, another woman, whom police did not identify, died. Earlier in the day, police had said that two 35-year-old women, one from Syracuse and the other from Rochester, were in critical condition with life-threatening injuries.  Seven additional concert-goers were dropped off by private vehicles at area hospitals with injuries that were not considered life-threatening, but were related to the same incident, police said.

Just after 11 p.m. Sunday, after a concert featuring musicians GloRilla ended, concert-goers were leaving the venue when the crowd started to surge and rush toward the exit, said Rochester Police Chief David Smith. There were reports of individuals hearing what they believed to be gunshots inside the venue causing the crowd to panic.”

Calls for Arena Security Probe Following Fatal Stabbing at HS Tournament

Calls for Arena Security Probe Following Fatal Stabbing at HS Tournament

Paul Steinbach
Feb 22, 2023

Trenton, N.J., officials are calling for an investigation into security measures at an arena where a man was fatally stabbed last week during a high school basketball tournament.

As reported by The Associated Press, Mercer County prosecutors say Khalil Glanton, 23, of Trenton, was stabbed multiple times at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton at about 8:30 p.m. Thursday and was pronounced dead at a hospital shortly afterward. Two brothers — Kareem Finney, 25, and Kahli Finney, 20, both of Trenton — have been charged with first-degree murder and third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, authorities announced Tuesday.

The Trenton City Council, which said Monday that most of its members were at the game, called for “a full and thorough investigation” by the county improvement authority into security measures that night and throughout the tournament. The council also wants Trenton police to investigate “any possible security breakdowns or breaches.”

Mayor W. Reed Gusciora earlier called for the county to look into security breaches at the arena, saying officials must ensure adequate training for all county personnel “who operate a metal detector.” Gusciora vowed additional security for the first round of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association tournament Tuesday at Trenton Central High School.

Authorities found Glanton stabbed after a fight that broke out following the game Thursday, according to Mercer County prosecutors.

Kareen Finney held Glanton while his younger brother repeatedly stabbed him, investigators allege, citing video and witness interviews. Investigators also discovered that the brothers had an ongoing dispute with the victim over a female, prosecutors said.

Crowd Crush Ensues Outside Purdue’s Mackey Arena as Students Wait for Ticket Giveaway

Andy Berg
Feb 8, 2023, Athletic Business

Purdue students and university officials are speaking out after a crowd crush ensued Sunday outside Mackey Arena as students waited for hours to receive men’s season basketball tickets.

Two students were treated for minor injuries in the aftermath of the incident, which took place outside Mackey ahead of a women’s basketball game. University president Mung Chiang released a statement on Twitter saying procedures for the annual event will change going forward.

“Crowd management should’ve been much better,” Chiang wrote. “Purdue Athletics will shift to electronic methods for safe and fair allocation of golden tickets in the future … crowd management training will be updated for all units and ticketing third parties: Safety First.”

Chiang also said that there will be more “Golden Tickets” for those who waited in line but did not received their season tickets for the men’s basketball season.

Gabe MacPhail, who waited in line for eight hours Sunday in hopes of receiving a golden ticket, said preparations for the giveaway felt inadequate.

“They really didn’t have any proper crowd control,” he told News 18. “There really wasn’t any line management until later when, you know, police started showing up and university security. But, it was scary at points, I think. Trying to get into the stadium [when] the doors finally opened there was a bit of a push from the end.”

Junior Bree Mild was also involved in the incident. She said she saw of friend of hers hold up a girl in line that was using crutches.

“Being at the basketball game, everyone being so distraught, no one was chanting really,” Mild said. “Everyone was just, their adrenaline was pumping after and everyone was just wanting to sit. I remember talking to a lot of my friends who walked out of the game saying ‘I just do not want to be around people right now, this is awful.’”

Vermont man dies after brawl during middle school basketball game

The Washington Post

Des Bieler
Thu, February 2, 2023 at 4:19 AM CST·3 min read

A 60-year-old man died this week shortly after participating in a brawl that broke out during a middle school basketball game, Vermont State Police said Wednesday.

Russell Giroux of Alburgh, Vt., was said to have been brought to a hospital in St. Albans City, Vt., where he was pronounced dead. According to the VST, his body will be brought to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Burlington to determine the cause and manner of his death.

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Police described Giroux as a participant in a melee that unfolded Tuesday after attendees rushed the court during a seventh-/eighth-grade game between Alburgh and St. Albans City. Per the VST, police were called to the Alburgh Community Education Center just before 7 p.m. for “a report of a large fight involving multiple spectators.” When officers arrived, the fight had ended and some of the participants had left, including Giroux. He subsequently sought medical attention, and an ambulance took him to the hospital.

According to Burlington station WCAX, video of the incident showed at least two players joining in the melee, along with more than a dozen adults.

The executive director of the Vermont Principals’ Association, Jay Nichols, told WCAX that game officials were not sure why the fight started.

“They were reffing the game, and the next thing he knew people were out on the court punching each other,” Nichols said. “There was one person that had blood all over their face. They got a parent to call the police.”

Officials with the schools involved shared their dismay over the incident and urged better behavior from community members.

“The Maple Run Unified School District condemns the violence that occurred during the basketball game,” a statement issued by St. Albans City said. “We expect better from our communities. Fighting and violence are wholly inconsistent with the behaviors we encourage and support. We always seek to foster a positive learning environment in school and at school events for our students. The tragic events that preceded Mr. Giroux’s death have caused our schools to evaluate school programs and community involvement.”

Court Finds Live Nation Not Responsible for Fatal Backstage Shooting at 2014 Young Jeezy Concert

Thania Garcia,  Jan. 26, 2023

The California Court of Appeal has decided Live Nation is not legally liable for the death of Eric Johnson, Jr., a Bay Area event promoter who was shot and killed during rapper Young Jeezy’s Under the Influence of Music tour in 2014.

According to the Tuesday ruling obtained by Variety, Live Nation had enough admissible evidence to establish that the shooting in the backstage area of the San Fransico venue “was not reasonably foreseeable,” meaning “they had no duty to prevent the third-party criminal attack on [Johnson].”

Johnson’s family had previously accused Live Nation of being legally negligent, citing that the entertainment company failed to provide enough security measures to prevent the shooting. The court ultimately decided the attack was not the kind of foreseeable occurrence that Live Nation is legally required to provide preventative measures for, as the family had suggested.

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“Based on reports from prior stops on the Under the Influence Tour, Live Nation’s security team anticipated a difficult crowd,” the ruling states. “The reports showed fights had occurred in some crowds and indicated the crowds in general had not respected physical barriers. The reports did not, however, indicate that any of the artists or their entourages engaged in or posed any danger of violence during the tour.”

The decision also further highlighted the speculative nature of the filing, seeing that the identity of the shooter, and how and when he entered the backstage area, still remains unknown. The family initially accused Jeezy, whose real name is Jay Wayne Jenkins, of committing the shooting, but those claims were later dropped.

Live Nation faces a similar wrongful death case for the stabbing of Drakeo The Ruler at the 2021 Once Upon a Time music festival in Los Angeles. A member of Drakeo the Ruler’s family filed a lawsuit in early 2022 against Live Nation and other promoters of the festival, claiming a lack of “proper safety measures” caused the rapper’s murder at the event on Dec. 18.

The 28-year-old rapper was fatally stabbed backstage at the festival before he was scheduled to perform. The original lawsuit alleged that the rapper’s death was “at the hand of a violent mob of purported members of a Los Angeles-based Bloods gang,” and claimed the stabbing and the filing claims were the “result of a complete and abject failure of all Defendants to implement proper safety measures in order to ensure the safety and well being of the artists whom they invited and hired to their music festival.”

Turning Down the Heat: Addressing Spectator Anger at Interscholastic Athletic Events

Dec 29, 2022
The vitriol that permeated American life over the past decade has percolated into our schools  — in particular, at after-school sporting events attended by the public. Anger toward officials, coaches and even student-athletes is on full display on a nightly basis in gymnasiums and stadiums. In some scenarios, the toxicity of spectators has manifested as violence or threats against others before, during and after contests. Attending to the security of participants, officials and spectators drains the time, energy and resources of school officials whose basic goal is to provide a fun and enjoyable athletic experience for students.

The challenge of providing a safe environment for conducting after-school activities has only been exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. High school athletic directors and other administrative personnel found themselves as nightly arbiters in the national political debate about First Amendment rights regarding masking and vaccination requirements at state-mandated gatherings. They are also tasked with managing interactions – and people – in situations for which they have no experience or formal training, yet in a setting (the American school) for which they are responsible.

Now is the time for those people entrusted with managing high school athletic events to be active in turning down the heat at these critical opportunities for student learning and growth.  Returning the temperature at our athletic contests to a pre-pandemic level requires focusing more attention on the fundamentals of event supervision and an increased awareness of interpersonal communication and anger de-escalation. Although change will not and cannot occur overnight, progress toward a return to civility in our gyms and on our fields can be achieved one interaction at a time.

The need for active supervision

Most problems that occur at high school athletic contests are preventable if the host school employs techniques that can help those in charge effectively administer those events. One of the biggest factors contributing to problems during secondary educational events is the lack of active supervision. Eighty percent of the lawsuits filed against schools are about supervision or lack thereof. The courts have consistently ruled that schools must provide a reasonable standard of care.

The key to ensuring that the event is managed safely and effectively involves providing training to those tasked with working it. Before the event starts, the manager or lead supervisor (usually the athletic director) should conduct a meeting to discuss event roles and responsibilities. A cardinal rule for all event workers is that they are responsible for working the event, not watching it. Ensuring that everyone on the team understands the overall plan for managing the activity and their role in that vision is critical to team success.

During team meetings, the event manager should facilitate conversations with those working the event to take the temperature of the community. It is important to understand if there are specific underlying issues – about the school, the athletic program, a coach or any other contributing factor – that could arise during the game. There also needs to be an emphasis on creating a calm, compassionate and non-confrontational environment. These discussions are crucial for all involved to begin the event with a mindset for success.

The best offense for an event management team to employ in supervising a venue filled with rabid, partisan fans is to construct an effective zone defense. The event supervisor should divide the facility into zones or coverage areas. Each team member is assigned a portion of the venue to observe and manage. The “divide and conquer” approach allows not only better overall coverage of a given facility but also creates an opportunity for staff to see what is happening in the facility and be seen by potentially disruptive spectators.

By scanning one’s assigned area every few minutes, the team member should look for signs of frustration or anger among individual spectators or groups. They should listen for loud, obnoxious voices criticizing officials, opponents or coaches. Once the irate fan has been identified, it is important to use pattern-matching recognition. Identify them by their apparel; it will be easier to pick them out of a crowd by what they are wearing.

Communicating with fans

People entrusted with managing high school athletic contests in today’s challenging environment find themselves encountering angry spectators who may prove disruptive if not addressed appropriately. The key is “adjusting the thermostat” (i.e., helping them reach a calmer, more manageable state) and involves maintaining one’s cool and keeping control at all times. Some best practices for communicating with fans while not ramping up the situation are as follows:

Controlling the climate

School officials can begin the steps toward reclaiming control of their athletic events by providing a calm, compassionate, nonconfrontational setting for all events to run successfully. The temperature within our buildings and at after-school events is rising. Now is the time to begin the process of lowering the metaphorical mercury in schools before it is too late.   Controlling the climate in our school facilities cannot occur without taking back control of those environments.

It is time to revisit basic principles in psychology and sociology that many educators learned during their training. Fan behavior seems to mirror society. We are seeing a trend where patience is not always exercised. People are looking for immediate gratification, and if something during the event doesn’t go their way, we see people react inappropriately. How school officials respond to them will dictate, for the long term and short term, how the climate of athletics in the school unfolds.

Game management has never been more critical at any time in the history of interscholastic athletics. Our educational-based programs are crucial, as they keep our youth active and healthy. Our officials, whose numbers have decreased significantly, deserve a safe officiating environment. We should not have to rely solely or primarily on law enforcement to maintain order at an amateur event.

With the right training, strategies and teamwork, we have access to the thermostat and need to make the necessary adjustments.

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