At least 17 football fans died in a stampede at a stadium in northern Angola on Friday, at the match in the town of Uige between Santa Rita de Cassia and Recreativo de Libolo in Angola's domestic league season. 59 others were wounded. There were an unknown number of children among the dead.
Fans had tried to enter the already packed stadium to see the match, causing a crush that pushed some people to the ground. “While the players were on the field, outside fans were trying to get into the stadium and a gate probably gave way to the pressure of the crowd causing several people to fall who were literally trampled on by the crowd,” said the Recreativo de Libolo club in a statement. Some witnesses said many fans did not have tickets to the match. “Many of them did not want to pay and those who had tickets could not get in. Then the confusion began,” an organizer said. The president of the host team, Uige-based Santa Rita de Cassia, said the security forces were to blame for not properly controlling the crowd. Angola is a minor power in African football.