Less than two weeks after eight people died in a stadium disaster in Senegal, two people have been killed in a crush at South Africa’s biggest stadium, the FNB Stadium, football officials have confirmed.
The incident occurred at a pre-season local derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, the country’s most popular teams, both from Soweto.
“I can confirm the death of two people,” police spokeswoman Lorraine van Emmerik, told AFP news agency.
She said several other people had also been injured when “a rolling mass of people were trying to get into the stadium” south of Johannesburg.
Police have launched an investigation into the fatal incident.
In a statement cited by an online football website KickOff, the match sponsors Carling Black Label also confirmed “two fatalities caused by blunt force trauma”.
They said one fan was critically injured and 16 other spectators suffered minor injuries.
The brewer said it was “saddened by the fatalities” from the crush caused by “a number of people who attempted to push through the stadium gates”.
Match tickets were sold out two weeks before the game.
Local media reports suggested fake tickets had gone on sale, while some analysts said fans have a tendency to enter stadiums late.
Public and private broadcasters cited officials saying the crush happened outside a gate at the FNB stadium which hosted the final of the World Cup seven years ago which was won by Spain.
Background to stadium disasters in SA(BBC):
The stadium served as the venue for Nelson Mandela’s first speech after his release from prison in 1990, and is where the memorial for Mr Mandela was held in 2013.
It was rebuilt for the 2010 football World Cup, where it was known as Soccer City and hosted the final between Spain and the Netherlands.
In April 2001, 43 supporters died in a crush during another match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at the Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg.
And 10 years before that, 42 people died in a crush between the same two teams at the Oppenheimer Stadium in the city of Orkney.