At least one person died and another 60 were injured after stampedes broke out around the stadium in Basra, where the Gulf Cup final between teams Iraq and Oman was being played on Thursday, Iraq’s official news agency INA confirmed.
“The stampede between fans near the Yezá al-Najla colossi in Basra governorate (southeast Iraq) caused the death of one person and injured 60,” INA said, citing medical sources, adding that “several of the wounded are serious. “
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al Sudani traveled to Basra after the incident, where he held a meeting with several members of the cabinet attended by the governor of the region, some 450 kilometers south of Baghdad, according to a report, a statement from his press office .
According to police sources and witnesses, tens of thousands of people gathered around the stadium on Wednesday night to watch the final match between their country’s team and Oman in the Golf Cup final.
A Home Office official confirmed the balance of the onslaught, saying the crowd represented “a large number of fans, particularly people without tickets, who have been gathering since morning trying to enter the venue.”
Gates inside the sports complex were closed when the stampede took place, according to an AFP photographer. He said he heard sirens from numerous ambulances arriving to help the injured.
After the event, the Interior Ministry issued a statement urging fans to “adhere to the rules and instructions” issued by the authorities, urging that “Basra citizens should not go to the stadium unless they have tickets for.” the stadium. “to match”.
As the afternoon progressed, calm gradually returned to the area surrounding the 65,000-capacity stadium thanks to the dispersal of fans, Saad Maan, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, told AFP.
This is the second incident related to the Golf Cup, in which eight Arab teams are participating, after a traffic accident last Monday killed seven fans and injured another 30 while they were attending the match between his team and Qatar. in the semifinals (2:1).
With information from EFE and AFP