Ivory Coast fined US$47,000 by FIFA over March stampede

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Félix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium, where the incident happened

FIFA, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association or International Federation of Association Football, has fined the Ivorian Football Federation $47,000 over the stadium disaster on March 29. Between 20 and 22 football fans died and over 130 were injured as 36,000 fans packed into the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium to see the Ivory Coast face Malawi in a qualifying match for the FIFA World Cup. The stadium's capacity is 34,600 fans. The stampede took place after a wall collapsed as thousands of fans massed outside the stadium, trying to get in. The game was played despite the accident, and the Ivory Coast won 5&ndasp0.

FIFA imposed a sanction of 50,000 Swiss francs, approximately US$46,800. They also set a 20,000 attendance limit on the next qualifier, against Burkina Faso. In addition, they have called for a mandatory traffic control cordon. FIFA has donated US$96,000 to a fund which supports the families of those who lost their lives in the disaster.

"In the event of any similar incidents, FIFA would have no choice but to impose more severe sanctions on the Ivorian Football Association," read a statement released by FIFA.

The government of the Ivory Coast has opened its own investigation into the disaster.


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