x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Fans stampede gates outside stadium

Thousands of football fans stampeded the gates outside a stadium today before a World Cup warmup match between Nigeria and North Korea.

TEMBISA, SOUTH AFRICA // Thousands of football fans stampeded the gates outside a stadium today before a World Cup warmup match between Nigeria and North Korea. Several fans could be seen falling under the rush of people, many wearing Nigeria jerseys. The Makhulong Stadium in the Johannesburg suburb seats about 10,000 fans. The first rush came when the gates opened to allow fans into the stadium. Police soon closed the gates, but when they were reopened, a second rush occurred, with more people falling and being run over.

Shortly after the second rush, the gates were closed again and much of the crowd dissipated. A policeman was hurt in the crush and left bloodied. He was later taken away on a stretcher. Other fans who appeared to be lightly injured walked away from the scene as it calmed down. The teams were lining up for the national anthems when the second surge happened. They had no idea what was going on outside.

Such incidents frequently happen in football. Last year, FIFA fined Ivory Coast's football federation $46,800 after 22 people died in a stampede at a World Cup qualifying match. * AP