The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2021) round of 16 match between the host country, Cameroon and Comoros left at least eight people dead and several others injured on Monday, January 24, 2022.
The eight people reportedly died in a stampede at the venue of the match, Olembe Stadium in the Cameroonian capital Yaounde when they were trying to gain access into the stadium during the match.
With a dozen people killed in #OlembeStadium stampede, @CAF_Online & @FIFAcom should face civil & criminal charges for gross negligence in allowing #Cameroun, clearly unprepared to fulfill its duty of care & security to fans, to host #AFCON. pic.twitter.com/XvKzryMinh— Herbert Boh (@BohHerbert) January 25, 2022
Initially, it was reported that six people were confirmed dead. But a recent report from Cameroon suggested that the number of people who have lost their lives in the stampede are nothing less than eight.
According to a report by a Cameroon-based television, CRTV, the incident recorded “half a dozen deaths and dozens have been injured”.
Confederation of African Football, CAF, the football body that organized the AFCON 2021, has confirmed the incident in a statement.
#BreakingNews : Six people reportdly killd n mre thn 40 injurd n a #STAMPEDE incident inside #Cameroon #football stadium. #AFCON2021 match was going on. What a tragedy. 😭 #AFCON pic.twitter.com/igKBFfDXAV— cheikaba h (@CheikabaH) January 25, 2022
In the statement from the football body, CAF said an investigation into the incident has commenced and the football body is working with local authorities to get more details on the incident.
The statement read, “CAF is aware of the incident that took place at Olembe Stadium during the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations fixture between hosts Cameroon and Comoros tonight, 24 January 2022.
“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.
“Tonight, the CAF President Dr. Patrice Motsepe sent the General Secretary, Veron Mosengo-Omba to visit the supporters in hospital in Yaoundé.”
The stampede that led to the deaths of eight people happened a day after a fire incident happened at a nightclub in Yaoundé which killed about 16 people and left many others critically injured.
Most of those who were injured during the nightclub fire incident and some of those who were injured in the stampede during the AFCON 2021 match were taken to the Yaoundé Central Hospital for treatment. At the time of publishing this report, no official report confirmed the exact number of deaths in the two incidents.
Meanwhile, the stampede at the Olembe Stadium did not stop the AFCON 2021 round of 16 match between Cameroon and Comoros from going on as planned.
AFCON debutants, Comoros played against the host country with a depleted squad due to coronavirus protocol. It got so bad for Comoros that they played with a man down for most of the game.
Comoros could not use a professional goalkeeper due to covid-19 protocol. Hence, they had to use an outfield player as a goalkeeper throughout the game.
Despite all those disadvantages, they were able to hold their own against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon. However, their extraordinary resilient was not enough as they ended up losing 2-1 to Cameroon to end their journey in the tournament.