HARARE (Reuters) – The Zimbabwe Football Association have confirmed the death of a female fan in a stampede outside of the National Stadium in Harare ahead of Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Congo.
According to local media reports, Mai Tadiwa was killed outside an entry gate as impatient fans pushed to enter the stadium amid poor crowd control for what was a vital match for the home side.
“Our heartfelt condolences go to the family and friends of a Warriors supporter who passed on after being trampled on at the Warriors match yesterday,” ZIFA said in a statement on Monday.
“We shall continue to work towards making our admission processes at entry points more swift so that recurrence of such unfortunate events can be avoided.”
Crowd control at stadia across Africa is often haphazard, the situation exacerbated by the fraudulent sale of fake tickets for key games that increases the number of people seeking to enter the venues well above the capacity.
The match went ahead despite the tragedy, with Zimbabwe winning 2-0 to seal their place at the continental finals in Egypt in June and July.
(Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Nick Mulvenney)