Multiple People Dead, Injured After Stadium Fight, Wall Collapse in Senegal

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 16, 2017

People stand before a collapsed wall at Demba Diop stadium July 15, 2017 in Dakar after a football game between local teams Ouakam and Stade de Mbour. 
Eight people were killed during Senegal's football league final in Dakar on Saturday in a stampede that broke out following clashes at the end of the match, the official APS news agency said. The wall collapse added many more to be injured.   / AFP PHOTO / SEYLLOU        (Photo credit should read SEYLLOU/AFP/Getty Images)
SEYLLOU/Getty Images

Tragedy struck the Senegalese League Cup final in Dakar on Saturday evening as a wall collapsed after a fight between fans at the Stade Demba Diop, resulting in eight deaths and another 49 injuries, per ESPN FC.

According to BBC Sport, "Fighting started between rival fans and police responded by using tear gas, which led to panic, a stampede, and the wall collapse. Some fans were throwing projectiles including stones at others. Pictures circulating online appear to show people scrambling over a low wall amid clouds of gas."

The fighting broke out after Stade de Mbour's 2-1 victory in extra time over Union Sportive Ouakam. 

"All of a sudden when the wall fell...we knew exactly that some of our own had lost their lives because the wall fell directly onto people," Cheikh Maba Diop, whose friend died in the incident, told the AFP (via the BBC). 

According to ESPN FC, the stadium was built in the 1960s and "had raised concerns in recent years due to the antiquated nature of the structure."

"Outraged by the incidents at the Demba Diop Stadium," Senegal's President Macky Sall said on Twitter in French (via Deanna Hackney of CNN.com). "The light will be cast on this tragedy. Those responsible will be identified and sanctioned."

The incident in Senegal joins a growing list of stadium disasters this year, which include tragedies in Malawi, Honduras and Angola that have left at least 29 dead, per Hackney. 

African football has also seen a number of stadium tragedies over the years. In 2001, 170 total fans died in separate incidents in Johannesburg and Accra, Ghana, according to ESPN FC. An incident at a 2009 World Cup qualifier in the Ivory Coast left 22 dead, while 21 fans died in two separate incidents (1996, 2007) in Lusaka, Zambia.