Following the deaths of 19 soccer fans at an Ivory Coast stadium (originally reported as 22 dead), people are asking: what happened? What’s known is that there was a stampede to get inside the stadium before the start of a World Cup qualifying match against Malawi. What’s less certain is who’s to blame.
Some say spectators without tickets tried to force their way into the stadium. Others say the fatal crush began when police officers and football federation officials began letting in those fans without tickets in exchange for bribes. That, in turn, angered fans with tickets.
FIFA has requested a full inquiry. Ivorian players, meanwhile, are using the tragedy as a rallying point, and organizers of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa are busy assuring everyone that such disorder isn’t possible at their venues.