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Fingers pointed in Ivory Coast's 'national drama'
by Paul Kennedy, March 31st, 2009 7AM

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[WORLD CUP 2010 QUALIFYING]While Ivory Coast began three days of mourning following the death of 19 fans in a stampede before Sunday's World Cup qualifier between Ivory Coast and Malawi at Abidjan's Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, an investigation into the tragedy continued.

"It's a national drama," Ivory Coast star Didier Drogba said on French channel Infosport. "We only learned about it in the evening after the match. We were shocked, stunned, when we found out there were deaths. We had difficulty understanding what had happened."

Fans, some without tickets for the soldout game, started pushing and shoving to try to get into the stadium and they panicked. According to some witnesses, the stampede started when police fired tear gas at the fans.

Drogba added that deadly incidents like that which took place at Houphouet-Boigny Stadium "are the kinds of things that are harming the development of soccer in Africa."

It's the fifth time this decade fans have been killed attending a World Cup qualifier in Africa.


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