31 Mar 2009

FIFA order investigation into stadium deaths

6:30 am on 31 March 2009

FIFA has ordered an investigation into a stadium crush in Abidjan in which at least 19 people were killed and a further 132 injured before a World Cup qualifier between Ivory Coast and Malawi.

A brief statement from world football's governing body says it has asked for a full report from the Ivorian Football Federation and local authorities to establish what happened outside the outside the stadium before the match.

The crush occurred after part of a wall collapsed when ticketless fans stormed one of the entrances to the 45,000-capacity arena.

Despite a bid by FIFA to force the improvement of stadium facilities across the continent, the crush in Abidjan is the second such incident during the 2010 qualifiers in Africa.

In June, eight people were killed in a crush in Liberia as spectators jostled to get into an already overcrowded stadium in Monrovia for the match between Liberia and the Gambia.