FIFA calls for explaination on stampede at Nyayo stadium

08:47, October 26, 2010      

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World football governing body FIFA has called in on Football Kenya to explain why seven people died in a stampede during a crunch Kenya Premier League (KPL) match pitting Gor Mahia against AFC Leopards on Saturday.

Football Kenya vice chairman Erastus Okul, who briefed a meeting of stakeholders involved in the organization and security of the match, said they are waiting for the report before sending a reply to FIFA.

However, the stadium is likely to be banned again after in 2005 it was banned for six months when a teenager died in similar circumstances when Kenya was playing Morocco in the campaign to qualify for the Germany 2006 World Cup.

This would force the country to stage its next qualification matches for the 2012 Africa Nations Cup in Tanzania or Uganda with the only other sanctioned venue, Moi International Sports centre, Kasarani being under renovation by Chinese firm Shengli Contraction Company.

Okul told an emergency fact finding meeting involving Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards, Football Kenya, Sports Stadia Management Board (SSMB), Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sport, Kenya Police, Red Cross Emergency Medical Services that FIFA is keen to unravel what caused the death and who are to blame.

President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Sunday ordered investigations into the cause of the stampede that also left 18 injured.

However, KPL decline to shoulder the guilt but agreed to help in the government in investigation on what led to the death of seven football fans in a stampede as they jostled to access the stadium prior to the kick off.

KPL chairman Elly Kalekwa, who just fell short to point an accusing finger on the home team, Gor Mahia, said they will not focus on who was to blame but help in whatever in the investigation process that is being undertaken by the government.

"All participants at the meeting agreed that they would fully cooperate with any inquiries set up by the government, police or other concerned authorities into the circumstances under which the fans died or were injured on Saturday," he said.

Dr. Andrew Sule, the who acted on a few of the victims, some dying in his hands, said 18 people were affected and rushed to hospital with eight dying while the others were treated and released.

At the same time, Gor Mahia Chairman Ambrose Rachiel, absolved his club from blame and quashed any possible link of the deaths to late sale of tickets.

"It must be realized that the victims all had tickets in their hands and were not trying to access the stadium free. The club cannot be blamed for selling the tickets on the match day," he said.

Ticket Masters, who were involved in selling the tickets on behalf of Gor Mahia, confirmed that 25,000 tickets - 3,000 for main stand and 22, 000 for the terraces - were printed. However, only 16,767 tickets were sold in spite of the 35,000-seater stadium having bust through the seams.

"These are numbers we have and when the gate was brought down, several people managed to come in and maybe they were the ones that have the numbers shooting up," said Martin Nkaari of Ticket Masters.

KPL Chief executive Jack Oguda said they will join hands with the football family in working closely with Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards to support the affected fans and their families.

"The organizations and persons who were involved in the process leading up to the match, including but not limited to the Match Commissioner and referees, the police in charge, SSMB officials, Ticket Masters, and the Red Cross have all stated the facts as they saw and witnessed them," said Oguda.

Source: Xinhua


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