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At least 19 people have died in a crush at a football stadium during a World Cup qualifier in Ivory Coast.

More than 130 people were injured in the stampede at the Houphouet-Boigny arena in the West African country's city of Abidjan.

About 36,000 spectators were in the stadium, where hosts Ivory Coast beat Malawi 5-0.

The BBC's John James says the arena was packed for the return of striker Didier Drogba, who scored twice.

Our correspondent says the authorities tried in vain to control the panicking crowd. One report said the police had fired tear gas to control the stampeding fans.

The ministry of sport and the Ivorian Football Federation have confirmed the number of deaths and say the incident occurred when thousands of fans tried to squeeze into the city's main stadium.

A wall collapsed, reportedly under the weight of the supporters, causing those already trying to squeeze into the stadium to panic.

Interior Minister Desire Tagro told state television: "Lots of fans showed up," reported AP news agency.

"They started pushing to get in because the match was about to start and each and every one of them wanted to get in."

The incident occurred before the game began but the fixture was allowed to go ahead, according to reports.

The stadium was reportedly sold out in advance of the game after cut-price tickets went on sale. [/I]

BBC News
 

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Thought the whole point of the Taylor report was to stop stuff like this?

Its so sad that people who just wanted to support their country at a football match are never going home again.
 
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Thought the whole point of the Taylor report was to stop stuff like this?

Its so sad that people who just wanted to support their country at a football match are never going home again.
That just covers England (UK ?) not the rest of the world.

Tragic when people go to a football match and lose their lives. :frown:
 

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That just covers England (UK ?) not the rest of the world.

Tragic when people go to a football match and lose their lives. :frown:
Thought that was a FIFA thing. I dunno, I've never really understood Hillsborough plus the aftermath and all that, since it happened before I was born.
 
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