Tuesday, May 13, 2014

CAF's President Hayatou expresses "deep sorrow" over the death of fans in DR Congo

The Confederation of African Football has expressed its “deep sorrow” following the death of at least 15 people who were killed in a stampede at a match in DR Congo.
CAF's President Issa Hayatou expressed his deep sorrow at the tragic killing of at least 15 people which occurred during Congolese League match between AS Vita Club and TP Mazembe in Kinshasa and immediately asked the Congolese FA, FECOFA to give CAF full briefings of the incident.

The unfortunate incident occurred on the final day of league action of the national championship in the match between AS Vita and TP Mazembe at the Tata Raphael Stadium in Kinshasa on Sunday 11 May, 2014. At least 15 people were killed and many others injured in the stampede which started after the collapse of a wall and a gate at the stadium which had recently been restored by the AS Vita Club. The stampede started in additional time of the match after some irate supporters of Vita Club, incensed by their team trailing Mazembe 1-0 showed their discontent by launching projectiles on the pitch. The police responded by throwing team gas canisters at the crowd.

Speaking Mr. Hayatou said: “ I would like to express my deepest sympathy on hearing of the untimely deaths of at least 15 people during the match of AS Vita and TP Mazembe, personally, and on behalf of the members of the African Football community, I should be grateful if you could extend our deepest condolences to their families, friends and loved ones. Further, we wish those that have been reported injured and receiving medical assistance full recovery.”

Hayatou also expressed CAF's position regarding violence, the President said: “I wish to re-emphasize that any acts of violence have no place in football. They must be condemned in the strongest possible terms and I urge the FECOFA and authorities in the DR Congo to thoroughly investigate this matter and ensure that measures put in place to avoid a repeat of any incident are fully briefed with CAF and forestall any such occurrence.”

Praying for all the families, may God grant them grace and peace during this difficult time.