The Cosafa secretary general spoke to Goal regarding recent stampedes in Angola and Madagascar where football fans lost their lives
Following recent stampedes in the Southern African region where football fans lost their lives, the Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) says a loss of life at any level is saddening.
According to Cosafa secretary general Sue Destombes, the organisation is planning to hold a regional security officers’ workshop to curb such incidents in the region.
“The loss of life at any level is saddening but when it can be prevented, it is particularly regrettable and Cosafa’s condolences go out to the families of those who lost their lives in this manner,” Destombes told Goal.
During a Caf Champions League clash between TP Mazembe and Primeiro Do Agosto, five fans lost their lives in Angola whilst one fan died during a 2019 Caf African Cup of Nations qualifier in a match between Madagascar and Senegal this month.
“More must be done across our region to ensure that stricter security guidelines are adhered to and that there is a heightened awareness in terms of security measures to be adopted when organising any football match,” she added.
Speaking about the Champions League encounter where five people lost their lives in Luanda and the Afcon qualifier which was staged in Antananarivo on Saturday September 15, the secretary general said the matches were under the Confederation of African Football’s (Caf) jurisdiction.
In Antananarivo, it is reported that a disater occurred when thousands of fans rushed into the stadium ahead of an Afcon qualifier at the Stade Municipal de Mahamasina on Sunday, September 9.
At least one person was killed and 40 others were left injured when the disaster struck ahead of the qualifier between the Islnders and the Lions of Teranga which ended in a 2-2 draw.
However, Destombes said Cosafa can provide guidance and education to ensure that football fans are safe when attending matches in the region.
“The matches in question were Caf matches and Caf is appointing security officers to oversee their matches,” she responded.
“As the zonal union, Cosafa can provide guidance and education and is currently planning a Regional Security Officers workshop with the assistance of expert facilitators which will assist our Member Associations,” concluded Destombes.
Meanwhile, the Angolan Sports Ministry has also lamented the death of the five people, including two children, following a stampede at the Estadio 11 de Novembro in Luanda.
It is also reported that fans attempted to leave the stadium using a small exit after the quarter-final first leg and seven were injured in the process.