At least eight people were killed and about 38 injured after a crush during an Africa Cup of Nations match in the Cameroonian capital of Yaoundé on Monday, according to the government of Cameroon.
Videos that went viral saw fans being crushed at the south entry gate to the Olembe stadium in the capital Yaounde as fans attempted to watch the round of 16 match between Cameroon and Comoros.
An investigation has been ordered into the “tragic incident”.
According to Officials about 50,000 people tried to attend the match which has a capacity of 60,000. However, it was not expected to be more than two-third full for the game because of Covid-19 restrictions.
The statement said about 31 people were lightly injured and seven were severely injured.
“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 Confederation of African Football (CAF) said it was aware of the crush and has launched its own investigations.
“CAF is currently investigating the situation in order to obtain more details about these incidents. We are in constant communication with the Cameroonian authorities and the local organizing committee,” a CAF spokesperson said in a statement.
The game which ended in a 2-1 victory to Cameroon as the host nation progressed to the quarterfinals to play Gabon.
FIFA, the football’s global governing body in a statement on Tuesday said its “”thoughts and prayers are with the global football community” who have suffered from the crush.
It said “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.”
CAF President Patrice Motsepe mentioned that there will be no more matches to take place at the stadium until there was an “absolute guarantee” fans would be safe.
“Clearly there were failures – there were things that should have been foreseen,” Mr Motsepe told a press conference.