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Stampede Spurs FIFA Sanctions On Ivory Coast

  • Reuters , Wednesday, July 22, 2009 4 PM
Ivory Coast has been fined and told by FIFA to cut capacity at Abidjan's Felix Houphouet-Boigny stadium after at least 19 people were killed during a stampede there before a World Cup qualifier against Malawi in March. FIFA's disciplinary committee also ordered extra crowd control measures outside the stadium for next month's game at home to neighbor Burkina Faso. Soccer's governing body, however, stopped short of imposing a home ban on the West Africans.

"For the World Cup qualifier against Burkina Faso in Abidjan on 5 September 2009, the capacity of the stadium will be restricted to 20,000 spectators," FIFA said in a statement. "Externally, a mandatory traffic control cordon will be established at least one kilometer away from the stadium itself, and a spectator control cordon will be established between 100 and 200 meters from the stadium in order to filter the access of spectators."

"The total capacity of the stadium (34,600) will only be allowed in subsequent matches if the above-mentioned measures are applied for each match. All future matches will not be allowed to kick off until the designated FIFA Security Officer is satisfied with all aspects of stadium safety and security." FIFA also mentioned that, "in the event of any similar incidents, FIFA would have no choice but to impose more severe sanctions on the Ivorian Football Association." After the incident, Ivorian government officials blamed the tragedy on ticketless fans trying to get into the stadium.

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