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Ten arrested after Senegal soccer stadium deaths

Senegalese authorities and the league federation found fans of Dakar-based US Ouakam were responsible for triggering a stampede which saw a stadium wall collapse at a cup final, crushing eight fans to death and injuring dozens more © AFP / SEYLLOU

DAKAR, Senegal, Aug 8 – Ten football fans have been arrested in connection with a stampede last month which killed eight supporters attending a cup match in Dakar, Senegalese police said Tuesday.

Those detained, all followers of local team US Ouakam, were detained Monday on suspicion of murder and premeditated assault, a police official told AFP.

One of those arrested is the chairman of the US Ouakam supporters’ club who allegedly failed to help authorities identify fans who triggered the stampede.

On Friday, the Senegalese league declared the Dakar-based outfit “wholly responsible” for the tragedy which occurred after Ouakam fans threw stones and other objects at rival Stade de Mbour supporters during Senegal’s League Cup final on July 15.

A wall collapsed onto fans fleeing the stadium to escape the hail of projectiles, with some crushed in the panic. Eight people died and dozens more were injured in the crush.

The match had to be abandoned in extra-time with Stade de Mbour, from south of the capital, leading 2-1 at the Demba Diop stadium. Afterwards, they were awarded the trophy.

The Senegalese federation last week handed US Ouakam a seven-year ban from all national competitions.

After the ban expires the club will have to resume in the regional level fourth division. They were also fined 10 million CFA francs (15,245 euros/$18,000).

The league justified the punishment in finding that the Mbour fans were trapped by the falling stadium wall while trying to escape the “fury” of rival fans whose team were headed for defeat.

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