JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Two people have been killed and several injured in a stampede at South Africa’s FNB Stadium during a soccer match between Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, Johannesburg city officials said on Saturday.
“The city has been notified of two fatalities,” said Luyanda Mfeka, the spokesman for the office of the mayor of Johannesburg.
He said the cause of the stampede, which took place at one of the gates of the stadium that hosted the 2010 World Cup final, was being investigated. Live television coverage of the match, which the Chiefs won 1-0, had shown no obvious disturbance.
In April 2001, a similar stampede saw 63 people crushed to death at Ellis Park, venue for the 1995 Rugby World Cup final, when Chiefs and Pirates met in a midweek league match. It was the country’s worst sporting tragedy and came as spectators broke through fences in an effort to get into the stadium.
Chiefs and Pirates are South Africa’s best supported clubs and have a rivalry stretching back almost 50 years. Saturday’s match was a traditional pre-season friendly between the two clubs.
(Reporting by Ed Stoddard and Mark Gleason; editing by David Clarke and Stephen Powell)