At least one killed, dozens injured after stampede near stadium in Iraq
BASRA, Iraq – A stampede near a football stadium in the city of Basra in southern Iraq killed at least one person and injured dozens on Thursday, when thousands of fans were trying to enter the stadium, the state news agency reported.
Iraq is hosting the Arabian Gulf Cup for the first time in 40 years and was due to meet Oman in the final on Thursday.
The stampede, which also injured 83 people, took place near the gates of the Sports City that was supposed to host the final match, security and medical sources said.
Security staff were trying to prevent the fans from entering the stadium after their numbers surpassed the stadium’s maximum capacity of 65,000, a source told Xinhua.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani arrived in Basra and held an immediate meeting with the provincial governor and other senior officials to supervise the preparations for the match, according to a statement by Al-Sudani’s media office.
The Arab Gulf Cup Football Federation is considering postponing the final or moving it to another country if the security situation does not improve, Basra governor Asaad Abdel Amir told Reuters.
On Jan 16, six people were killed and 22 others wounded when a bus carrying Iraqi football fans collided with a truck because of heavy fog on a highway between the provinces of Dhi Qar and Basra, where the fans were en route to watch Iraq’s semi-final against Qatar. REUTERS, XINHUA
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