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FIFA fines Ivory Coast after deadly stampede

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-22

FIFA have fined Ivory Coast's football federation following a deadly stampede at Abidjan's Felix Houphouet-Boigny stadium last March. Football's governing body also imposed crowd restrictions for next month's game against Burkina Faso.

REUTERS - Ivory Coast have been fined and told by FIFA to cut capacity at Abidjan's Felix Houphouet-Boigny stadium after at least 19 people were killed during a stampede there before a World Cup qualifier against Malawi in March.

 

FIFA's disciplinary committee also ordered extra crowd control measures outside the stadium for next month's game at home to neighbours Burkina Faso, soccer's world governing body said in a statement on Wednesday.

 

However, FIFA stopped short of imposing a home ban on the West Africans.

 

"For the World Cup qualifier against Burkina Faso in Abidjan on 5 September 2009, the capacity of the stadium will be restricted to 20,000 spectators," said FIFA.

 

"Externally, a mandatory traffic control cordon will be established at least one kilometre away from the stadium itself, and a spectator control cordon will be established between 100 and 200 metres from the stadium in order to filter the access of spectators."

 

"The total capacity of the stadium (34,600) will only be allowed in subsequent matches if the above-mentioned measures are applied for each match.

 

"All future matches will not be allowed to kick off until the designated FIFA Security Officer is satisfied with all aspects of stadium safety and security."

 

"The decision also mentioned that, in the event of any similar incidents, FIFA would have no choice but to impose more severe sanctions on the Ivorian Football Association."

 

FIFA said the Ivorian association would have to pay a fine of 50,000 Swiss francs (46,798 dollars) and FIFA itself would donate double that amount to victims of the tragedy.

 

Ivorian government officials at the time blamed the tragedy on ticketless fans trying to get into the ground. Ivory Coast won the game with Malawi 5-0.

 

Riots and crushes are common at African soccer stadiums, which are frequently overcrowded.

 

Last September, 11 people were killed in a stadium riot in Democratic Republic of Congo.

 

South Africa is spending several billion rand building new venues and infrastructure for the 2010 World Cup finals.

 

Date created : 2009-07-22

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