Many Die in Soccer World Cup Qualifying Match Between Côte D'Ivoire and Malawi

Published on Monday 30th March 2009

More than 20 people died in a crush at Abidjan's Houphouet-Boigny Stadium ahead of the soccer World Cup qualifying match between Côte d'Ivoire and Malawi on Sunday.

The BBC reported that at least 22 were killed and more than 130 injured in a stampede when thousands of Ivoriens tried to get into the game to see Didier Drogba, who plays for Chelsea in England, return to international football.

The Associated Press said interior minister Desire Tagro told state television: "They [the fans] started pushing to get in because the match was about to start and each and every one of them wanted to get in."

The agency reported that a correspondent for a sports daily said a wall collapsed as fans pushed in. "We saw people falling... Then there was panic and a stampede," he said.

The game went ahead despite the tragedy, with the home team beating Malawi 5-0. Drogba scored two of the goals.


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