AFCON Quarter-Finals to be Moved Following Olembe Stadium Tragedy

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By Patric Ridge

Patrice Motsepe, president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), has called for an immediate investigation into an incident at Olembe Stadium that resulted in the deaths of eight people, while he confirmed upcoming Africa Cup of Nations matches would be relocated.

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Eight people died and a further 38 were injured after a stampede outside the stadium in Yaounde during Monday’s match between tournament hosts Cameroon and Comoros.

CAF has started an investigation, while FIFA offered its condolences in a briefing on Tuesday (January 25). In a media briefing, CAF president Motsepe confirmed the quarter-final tie due to be hosted at Olembe Stadium on Sunday, which will take place between the winner of Ivory Coast’s clash with Egypt and the victor of Morocco v Malawi, would be moved to Yaounde’s Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium.

“I’ve been given lots of feedback and had lots of discussions until very early this morning,” Motsepe said on Tuesday. “The first thing that I’m going to ask the organising committees, the next match that’s supposed to take place at the Olembe Stadium should not take place.” Motsepe also confirmed CAF had requested a report on the incident be completed by Friday (January 28).

“I spoke to the senior person in the government, and it’s correct out of respect for our partners, to indicate that there must be an immediate committee set up to investigate what happened,” he said.

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“In that context, to find out who was supposed to do what and who did not perform their responsibilities. “We want that report by Friday but as I said the game that is scheduled for Olembe Stadium on Sunday is not going to take place and it’s going to take place at Amadou. There will be other changes that will be made.”

One of those other changes is reportedly moving Sunday’s other quarter-final from Douala to Limbe. A media release attributed to the Cameroon team was released on Tuesday, bearing the name of captain Vincent Aboubakar, was retweeted by the Cameroonian Football Federation (FECAFOOT) and appeared to question the behaviour of supporters in a statement that has received widespread criticism

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