ICoast stampede trial postponed

June 19, 2009 12:00 am

, ABIDJAN, Jun 19 – The trial of those held responsible for a stampede at Abidjan’s main football stadium in which 20 people died has been postponed to next month, the public prosecutor’s office said Friday.

The trial of administrator Albert Kacou Anzouan and 11 others was due to begin on Friday but was postponed to July 10 in order to allow the football authorities to concentrate on an important football match, public prosecutor Raymond Tchimou said.

The national team take on Burkina Faso in a World Cup qualifying match in Ouagadougou on Saturday.

"We want them (FIF officials) to finish their work in peace and the trial will take place afterwards," he said.

Anzouan is chairman of the national football federation (FIF)’s competitions organising committee. He is among the dozen people charged with involuntary homicide and fraud stemming from the March 29 stampede at the stadium, which was packed with fans for World Cup qualifier against Malawi.

Twenty people died as a result of the stampede and 132 were injured.

Many of the supporters had tickets and were angry at being refused entry, witnesses said, accusing the security forces of taking bribes to let many ticketless people into the match.


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