Stadium bosses deny blame for fatal stampede

October 24, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 24 – The Sports Stadia Management Board has insisted that security at the Nyayo National Stadium was adequate for Saturday\’s match where at least seven fans were killed in a stampede.

Chief Executive Officer Benjamin Sogomo said on Sunday that there was enough security provided by the police, a private security firm and the stadium\’s own.

"We had requested for police and there were over 100 of them some on horseback, others with dogs and others were stationed strategically to bring order," Mr Sogomo said.

"The stadium\’s own security was providing guidance in terms of information," he added.
Mr Sogomo said the majority of the people were already settled inside the stadium when the stampede occurred.

"The rain delayed a lot of people and when they came, they did so forcefully and it became a situation where the fans who were coming in could have been a mixture of those who had tickets and those who didn\’t," he explained.

"Therefore those who didn\’t have (a ticket) could have even been pushing harder to get a chance into the pitch."
He said although there could be need to fully review the security arrangement, there must also be discipline among the fans.

"In neighbouring Tanzania people are more orderly and that should be the case here," he said.

Meanwhile, the government said it would make its position known on Monday.

Sports Assistant Minister Kabando wa Kabando told Capital News that they were waiting for a report from the Stadia Management Board on how many tickets were sold, gates that were used and the security positioning.

He said a decision whether to compensate the victims of the stampede would be addressed after they received the report.

"For us to take a position without shifting blame we will need to know how many people were allowed; was there any congestion in one corner as opposed to the requirement and was there any indicator initially that such stampede would most likely arise… so that we don\’t raise issues that will be sideshows," Mr Kabando explained.

"For now our focus is that there was a disaster and some people lost lives," he said.

Scores of people were also injured following the stampede at a football match between perennial rivals Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.

"We are very sorry for what occurred and we are sending our condolences to the families, relatives and friends and the clubs to which these people belonged to," he said.


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