At least eight people reportedly died in a stampede at the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde ahead of Cameroon’s round of 16 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) match against Comoros on Monday evening.
It is believed that dozens of others sustained injuries and were rushed to the nearest hospital – Messassi.
The crowd attempted to enter the Olembe Stadium to watch the host nation tackle Comoros. Unfortunately, the site turned deadly as the crowd turned into a stampede.
According to a preliminary health ministry report obtained by AFP: “Eight deaths were recorded, two women in their thirties, four men in their thirties, one child, one body taken away by the family.”
“Some of the injured are in desperate condition. We will have to evacuate them to a specialized hospital,” said a nurse Olinga Prudence at Messassi hospital.
Due to Covid-19 regulations, the stadium can only take 80% of its 60,000 capacity, but soccer officials claim that about 50,000 attempted to go to the game.
The Confederation of African Football (Caf) released a statement stating that they are investigating the incident:
“Caf is currently investigating the situation and trying to get more details on what transpired. We are in constant communication with the Cameroon government and the Local Organizing Committee,” reads the statement.
On the field of play, the Indomitable Lions beat 10-man Comoros 2-1 to book a place in the quarterfinals of Africa’s showpiece.