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

The Sport Review
Federer wins 98th title to reclaim No1 from Nadal, as remarkable duopoly powers on
The Sport Review
10 goalkeepers Liverpool FC could sign in summer transfer window
The Sport Review
Arsenal transfers: 10 targets Gunners could sign for defence in summer
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning house in Madrid
The Sport Review
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
10 players Chelsea could sign in the 2018 summer transfer window
The Sport Review
Jose Mourinho rates Paul Pogba’s display in France v Portugal
The Sport Review
Zlatan Ibrahimovic leaps to defence of Man United star
The Sport Review
Cesc Fabregas names two things Diego Costa improved at Chelsea FC