By Emmanuel Okogba
The remaining matches of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations will have a moment of silence for supporters who lost their lives and those injured from last night’s stampede at the Olembe Stadium during the second round game between Cameroon and Comoros.
CAF President, Patrice Motsepe said on Tuesday that the decision was reached after an emergency meeting as a result of the incident.
“The issue was should we postpone today’s matches”, Motsepe said in a press conference monitored by Vanguard
“From my side, there’s a duty not just to consult but also to listen to the guidance of various stakeholders. The conclusion was we should observe a moment of silence. One of the specific questions was should it start from today’s matches and it was indeed an issue we had to discuss and consider.”
At least eight people died in a crush outside the stadium as supporters, more than the required number, tried to gain entry.
Some witnesses at the stadium said children were among the casualties, while some others said it happened when stadium stewards closed the gates and stopped allowing people in.
Officials at the nearby Messassi hospital admitted injured people from the crush, who were rushed to the hospital by police and civilians. The officials said the hospital was not capable of treating all of them.
The stadium with a capacity of 60,000 was not meant to accomodate more than 80 per cent due to Covid-19 restrictions.
As a consequence, games billed to hold at the stadium have now been shifted to other venues.
A statement released, Monday, by CAF on the incident 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 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 Yaounde.”