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Football reacts to Olembe Stadium Cup of Nations tragedy


Yaoundé (AFP) – Eight people died and 38 injured as fans attempted to enter the Olembe Stadium where hosts Cameroon were playing the Comoros at the Africa Cup of Nations on Monday.

AFP Sport picks out some reaction to the tragedy:

“That gate was supposed to be open because if it was open they would have walked through, and for inexplicable reasons it was closed.” — Patrice Motsepe, Confederation of African Football (CAF) president.

“If that gate was open as it was supposed to, we wouldn’t have had this problem we have now, this loss of life. Who closed that gate? Who is responsible for that gate?”

“It is dramatic, I do not understand how this can still happen today. The fervour is there for the tournament, and this spoils the party, it is dreadful, I am lost for words.” — Gabon coach Patrice Neveu to AFP.

“It is appalling. Each time it happens we say never again, there are enough conflicts in the world, to die for a football match, is unacceptable.” — former Cameroon coach Claude Le Roy told AFP.

“One must also take into account that this touches thousands of people, the families, their friends, far above the death toll of eight.

“We are shattered by this. People came with their children, as families, the atmosphere seemed so serene arriving at the stadium early.”

“It is dreadful. I am very affected by people dying on their way to attending a party.” — former Cameroon goalkeeper Joseph-Antoine Bell to AFP.

“We would like to share our condolences to all the families suffering.

“The hearts of Egyptian fans and our team are with them. We put our prayers for those families, and also for all the others; we wish and we hope they have a quick and fast recovery.” — Egypt coach Carlos Queiroz.

“We are sorry about what happened yesterday, and hopefully the injured people will come back home safe.” — Egypt and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah.

“I offer my condolences to the families and wish a speedy recovery to all those who were injured.

“We remain focused on the tournament even if as a human being you can’t be unmoved by it. Long live football. We will carry on despite it all.” — Ivory Coast coach Patrice Beaumelle.

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