Fans injured before Nigeria and North Korea friendly

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
south africa football fan

(Photo: Coca-Cola South Africa)

The safety of supporters in South Africa has been called into question after a number of fans were injured at a friendly match between Nigeria and North Korea yesterday.

The World Cup warm-up game took place at the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa, a region between Pretoria and Johannesburg. The ground’s capacity is 10,000 however due to the large appeal of the match, crowds began to gather in force to access the stadium.

South African police had originally closed the gates before the decision was taken to reopen them, inevitably leading to a stampede of eager supporters. All of the entrances were closed off as the match got underway.

Reports suggested 20 people were hurt and a handful seriously injured, including a policeman.

FIFA have been quick to remove themselves from the chaotic scenes, insisting the friendly was organised independently and tickets were distributed by private parties.

In a statement, a FIFA spokesman said: “FIFA and the Organising Committee (OC) would like to first wish a prompt recovery to those who have been affected by these incidents.”

“In addition, FIFA and the OC would like to reiterate that this friendly match has no relation whatsoever with the operational organisation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, for which we remain fully confident.

Contrary to some media reports, FIFA had nothing to do with the ticketing of this game.”

Meanwhile, the English FA is understood to have taken extra precautions to ensure the safety of supporters ahead of this afternoon’s friendly against the Platinum Stars.

“We (the FA) take safety very seriously,” said an FA spokesman.


MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

Exclusive interview
The Sport Review
Exclusive interview: John Barnes on why Roberto Firmino is Liverpool FC’s most important player
The Sport Review
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Meet Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s girlfriend Amine Gulse
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house with us
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Chelsea, Arsenal stars feature – Slideshow
The Sport Review
Meet Chelsea FC star Andreas Christensen’s girlfriend Katrine Friis
2018 Review
The Sport Review
Milestones and memories, with Federer, Djokovic, Nadal, Halep, Radwanska, and more
The Sport Review
Gary Lineker sends message to Mo Salah after Liverpool FC’s 4-0 win at Bournemouth
The Sport Review
Arsenal to consider selling Mesut Ozil in January – report