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2010 World Cup organizers offer condolences to victims
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10:55, March 31, 2009

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The Local Organizing Committee ( LOC) of the 2010 World Cup offered its condolences to the victims of the stadium stampede in Cote d'Ivoire on Monday.

Twenty soccer fans died and 130 were injured when people crowded into the Felix Houphouet-Boigny arena, 40 minutes before the FIFA World Cup/African Cup of Nations qualifier between Cote d'Ivoire and Malawi was scheduled to start.

The crowd pushed against each other, and police allegedly firedteargas into the crowd, setting off a panic that led to the stampede.

The 2010 LOC said in a statement it would like to express its heartfelt sorrow at news of the stadium accident in Abidjan.

"We would like to extend our most sincere condolences to the families of those who lost their lives under such tragic circumstances. We also offer our condolences to the injured and tothe people of Cote d'Ivoire who today are trying to take stock of this tragedy," said LOC CEO Danny Jordaan.

"The Organizing Committee will be embarking on a major spectator educator campaign to ensure that fans coming to the FIFAConfederations Cup and FIFA World Cup get to the games early. The gates will open three hours before the matches kick-off and this is when fans will be expected to arrive," said Jordaan.

"As a nation we host major sporting events on an almost weekly basis and have some of the best security personnel in the world working on this project to ensure that the safety of all those whoattend the matches is guaranteed.

"We call on all countries involved in FIFA World Cup qualifiersto adopt best safety practice to ensure that the road to 2010 is safe and incident free," Jordaan said.


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