By Gabriel Enogholase, Benin
TRAGEDY was averted yesterday in Benin at the commissioning of the new football turf of the Sam Ogbemudia Stadium as no fewer than 10 students fainted as a result of a stampede after a surge from the mammoth crowd that graced the ceremony. The victims were stretchered and taken away in a waiting ambulance after they were revived.
The stampede arose from poor crowd control of the people who thronged the Dr. Sam Ogbemudia Stadium to watch Ex – super Eagles versus Ex – Bendel Insurance All Stars Football Match as part of activities lined up to commission the stadium’s new FIFA – Standard Football Astro – Turf.
Several of the students sustained minor injuries, following the stampede.Students in their hundreds from some of the public schools in Benin_City took over all available space in the arena as early as 9 am, long before the commencement of the ceremony.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Governor Adams Oshiomhole restated his administration’s commitment to the revival of sports and football in particular.
According to him, “we have decided to inter – link our sports and education renewal programme. The idea is to create an enabling environment to nurture new talents in our educational system.
In the first football match between the Executive Team led by Comrade Governor Oshiomhole against the Legislative Team captained by Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr. Bright Omokhodion, the governor team defeated the legislative team by two goals to nothing with Gov. Oshiomhole scoring a penalty.
In the second novelty match between Ex – Super Eagles, mainly of the USA 94 squad and Ex – Bendel Insurance All Stars, the Ex – Super Eagles Team captained by Daniel Amokachi defeated the Ex – Insurance Team, captained by Roland Ewere by 5 – 1, with Okocha scoring a hart – trick and Baldwin Bazuaye scoring a brace.