By Anye Nde Nsoh
The Minister of Sports and Physical Education Prof. Narcisse Mouelle Kombi who doubles as the President of the Local Organizing Committee COCAN of the African Cup of Nations 2021 hosted by Cameroon, has commented on the way forward following the stampede at Olembe stadium January 24, 2022 which saw the death of eight people at the stadium and several others injured.
The sad accident occurred on Monday January 24 as fans scrambled to have access to watch host Cameroon face Comoros Islands in one of the round 16 games of the ongoing 2021 Africa Cup of Nations tournament. Football die hards forcefully fought to get access to the Olembe facility through one of the entrances, reached extreme level which eventually led to a stampede.
This caused the Confederation of African Football suspend the Stadium from hosting some games to pay homage to the fallen fans and after proper examination and evaluation of the incident by the local organizing committee and a cross inter-ministerial visit, the suspension has been uplifted.
The government of Cameroon has expressed heart felt condolences to the families of the fallen football die hearts who lost their lives January 24, 2022 at Olembe Stadium in Yaounde during the stampede, who came to support and enjoy football.
During a press briefing held at Sawa Hotel in Douala Friday January 28, 2021, with local and international journalists covering the 33rd edition of the men’s flagship bonanza in the continent, Minister Narcisse Mouelle Kombi made it clear the stadium was constructed taking into consideration security measures, and other entrances into the stadium shall be opened to avoid commotion and give fans an opportunity to enjoy football and the AFCON.
The minister appreciated the efforts of journalists who have been giving the competition the popularity and beauty it deserves to the local and international community. He also reiterated the condolence message from the head of state, President of the Republic of Cameroon and urge all to be responsible till the end of the competition.
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