At least one person has died, and about 40 others injured in a stampede at the Mahamasina Municipal Stadium in Madagascar.
The incident happened on Sunday 9th September 2018 before kick-off of a 2019 AFCON qualifier match between Senegal and Madagascar.
The game which ended in a two all tie counted for day-2 action of the first round of qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations.
The stampede occurred at the main entrance of the football structure as thousands hustled to make their way into the stadium.
Results say many started assembling as early as 6 a.m. for a match scheduled for 2: 30 p.m. in the afternoon.
“We were waiting in the queue from six o’clock in the morning. We were meters from the gate when the stampede took place. I was trampled on the back, but my backpack cushioned the impact”, Rivo Raberisaona told AFP.
“I do not understand why there was only one gate open to the stadium when it’s such a big game”, said Henintsoa Mialy Harizafy, whose uncle was injured.
Officials at the Hrja Hospital in Antananarivo where the victims were hospitalised said two of the injured are in critical conditions.
Presently, the hospital is playing host to 41 persons plus the deceased.
Football pundits say the presence of the Liverpool football star, Senegalese born Sadio Mane pulled crowds of football fans.
The presence of many other former Senegalese football celebrities attracted the 20,000 spectators at the soccer play ground
The recent incident is just one of the many tragedies that have occurred in stadia across Africa.
In July 2017, eight people – including seven children – died at a stadium during Senegal’s League Cup final.
In February 2017, 17 people died, and 58 others were injured in Angola during an opener ahead of the national championship.
Nineteen people also died in the Ivorian city of Abidjan in 2009 as the qualifying match for the 2010 World Cup between Ivory Coast and Malawi ended in state of chaos.
Tasha Seidou (intern)