60 years of tragedies in football stadiums

At least 174 people died Saturday in a mob in Indonesia when thousands of fans invaded a football pitch and were sprayed with tear gas. A look back at the tragedies that have struck football for sixty years.

February 2, 2012, Port Said (Egypt)

74 people died in violence following Al-Masri’s victory over Al-Ahly (3-1). Fans then invaded the lawn. Images of chaos, security cordon to protect submerged players… The Muslim Brotherhood, which had just won the legislative elections, immediately accused supporters of former President Hosni Mubarak of being behind the violence.

March 29, 2009, Abidjan (Ivory Coast)

19 dead and more than 130 injured are to be deplored at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny during a qualifying match for the 2010 World Cup between Côte d’Ivoire and Malawi. Spectators unhappy at not being able to enter the stadium break an access gate to a stand before a deadly stampede.

September 14, 2008, Butembo (DRC)

After a stampede following a police intervention at Matokeo Stadium during a friendly match between Socozaki and Nyuki System, the toll is as follows: 13 dead and 54 injured.

May 10, 2001, Accra (Ghana)

127 dead, crushed or asphyxiated, and several hundred injured at the end of the Championship match between Hearts of Oaks and Kumasi. Kumasi supporters, unhappy with the loss, throw projectiles and smash seats. The investigation will castigate the intervention of the police but also the closing of the gates of the stadium.

April 11, 2001, Johannesburg (South Africa)

Thousands of ticketless fans forced their way into the already packed Ellis Park stadium during an Orlando Pirates-Kazser Chiefs Championship game, killing 43 people. Ten years earlier, during a match in Orkney, clashes between the same teams had caused 42 deaths after the cancellation of a goal by the referee.

May 5, 1992, Bastia (France)

19 dead and 2,357 injured are to be deplored before the kick-off of the semi-final of the Coupe de France Bastia-Marseille, the upper part of a temporary 10,000-seat stand having collapsed. In October 2021, the French Parliament passed a bill providing that no professional matches are played on May 5.

April 15, 1989, Sheffield (England)

96 Liverpool supporters died in the Hillsborough tragedy at the stadium of the same name in Sheffield. Coming to watch the semi-final of the Cup between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, thousands of spectators had found themselves huddled together, crushed and suffocated against the gates of the enclosure, even before kick-off, due to a movement crowd.

Hillsborough Stadium during Liverpool-Nottingham Forest on April 15, 1989. (Mirrorpix/Presse Sports)

May 29, 1985, Brussels (Belgium)

39 people, mainly Italians (32), lost their lives in the European Cup of Champions Cup final won by Juventus against Liverpool (1-0) thanks to a goal by Michel Platini at the Heysel stadium . Doctors also counted 600 seriously injured. A charge of English hooligans had caused a crowd movement, crushing hundreds of supporters against a stadium wall and causing many deaths, often by suffocation.

May 11, 1985, Bredford (England)

56 dead and 200 injured in the fire inside the main wooden stand during the Bradford-Lincoln City Third Division game. The crowd ran into closed doors.

February 17, 1974, Cairo (Egypt)

48 dead and 47 injured in a friendly match between local club Zamalek and Dukla Prague (Czech Republic). 80,000 people wanted to enter a 40,000-seat stadium and a gate gave way…

January 2, 1971, Glasgow (Scotland)

66 dead during the Rangers-Celtic derby in a crowd movement in a stand at the Ibrox Stadium. A crowd movement following an equalizer in this dilapidated stadium – a fragile staircase in particular – which had already been the site of a tragedy: 26 dead due to the collapse of a stand during a Scotland-England in 1902.

May 23, 1964, Lima (Peru)

320 people died and more than a thousand were injured in a crowd movement at the Nacional stadium in Lima during an Olympic tournament qualifying match between Peru and Argentina. Following a crowd movement in the stands, the gates of the stadium being closed, the supporters could not escape and died of being trampled or asphyxiated.

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