Monday, June 07, 2010

Opening Of World Cup In South Africa - Mayhem

For of us on this side of the pond,soccer is no big deal, but to th erest of the world, the FIFA World Cup tournament is big stuff,the World Series, SuperBowl and Indy 500 combined.

This year, FIFA awarded the World Cup to South Africa in spite of concerns about infrastructure and the country's ability to provide security.

Today, thousands of fans stampeded at a pre-tournament preliminary match between Nigeria and North Korea at 15,000 seat Makhulong Stadium in Johannesburg, trampling and injuring hundreds:

Fans had tried to break down the gates at the ground after police had closed them after the 4pm kick-off as earlier spectators tried to get into the ground.

The problem of dealing with a relatively small crowd came as England prepare to play at a similar ground tomorrw in a pre-tournament friendly in front of sell out crowd of 12,000.

Problems occurred for the South African police and authorities yesterday when hundreds of fans attempted to enter the ground carrying photocopies of free tickets which had been distributed before the match.

Most of those involved in both an initial stampede and then an attempt to rush the gates of the stadium appeared to be wearing Nigerian jerseys.

Of equal concern to the South African World Cup organisers was a problem inside the ground shortly after the second half began.

The match referee was forced to halt the game for ten minutes after a railing attached to a grandstand broke loose and left hundreds of fans just feet from a dangerous fall from the terracing.

Yesterday fans caught up in the stampede told how they were crushed on the ground shortly before kick-off.

'The crowd just overpowered me and I went down,' said Japhta Mombelo who suffered cuts to his head.

'I fell down and people just fell over me.The crowd was overpowering.'

The first rush came when the gates opened to allow fans into the stadium. Police soon closed the gates, but when they were reopened, a second rush occurred, with more people being pushed over.

A total of six ambulances were sent to the scene .

What happened, as the above article alludes to is that photocopies of free tickets were run off and created an over capacity crowd scene the security was simply unable to handle.

And the World Cup proper hasn't even started yet..the real crowds have yet to arrive!

Given South Africa's high crime rate and the corruption inherent in the country, one can only hope this what happened today is not indicative of how the rest of the tournament is going to go.

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Anonymous said...

Sensational trash!

Anonymous said...

I'm South Africa and left three years ago.

I would never go back, not even for free tickets.