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Government to probe stampede

NAIROBI, Kenya, October 25 – The government has formed a probe committee to probe the events leading to Saturday’s stampede at Nyayo National Stadium that killed seven people and left dozens injured.Assistant Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Kabando wa Kabando said on Monday that the committee will examine all the aspects of that tragic night and come up with recommendations to boost safety and security standards at all stadia countrywide.

“We wish not to pre-empt the outcome of the probe, but as a ministry some of the measures we are taking is to urge the Stadia Management Board to put in place measures to forestall such incidences including advance and e-ticketing where applicable, preparations for early entry into the stadiums and to educate the fans on stadium safety,” said Kabando.

“We’re urging all stakeholders and the nation to be patient, have trust, be calm and await the outcome of the probe,” added Kabando.

Kabando spoke after football stakeholders meeting on the same day decided to investigate the tragedy and to support the families of the bereaved.

The Kenya Premier League (KPL) announced that they will implement a four step plan that includes compensating the bereaved families, co-operate fully with the government and the police in investigations, identify exactly what led to the stampede and to identify measures that a similar situation does not happen in future.

“All participants at the meeting agreed that they and their organizations would co-operate fully with any inquiries set up by the government, police  or other concerened authorities into the circumstances under which football fans of Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards died or were injured on Saturday,” said a statement issued by KPL after the meeting.

Ticket Maters who are charged with the selling of tickets at all KPL match venues said that they had sold 60 percent of the match tickets with 2847 sold for VIP and 13920 snapped up for the terraces.

The initial plan to sell the tickets in advance was shelved because Gor were afraid that they would be duplicated and sold at black market prices.

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Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier said that the decision not to sell advance tickets was the reason for the stampede that happened at the now infamous gate 2.

“In my honest view, it wasn’t because people were jostling for tickets, people were jostling with tickets to go in at the gate,” said Rachier.

Rachier also absolved his club from blame that they were responsible for the failure to open more gates to allow the fans in.

“Once you come to the gate, it’s not the decision of the club to determine which gate to open because we do not hold any keys. From the reports I got from the pre-match meeting, everything was quite in order, and I also believe that the match commissar will not allow a match to take place without the rules and statutes in place,” said Rachier.

The KPL chairmen will have another board meeting to address how they will carry out their four step plan.

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