Time and time again, old stadiums, inadequate safety procedures and policing have led to disasters at football grounds with the fans getting the blame. Jamhuri stadium in Dodoma this is not right!
On my recent trip back to Dodoma I was shocked with this scene of Jamhuri stadium, which I know well from my sports days. This is the main entrance on west stand. It seems not to have been used for some time now but it would be the escape route in case of fire or any emergency. It is not clear why businessmen can be allowed to use it as a storage area for building materials as they are blocking the door. The door should always be accessible in case fire engines or ambulances needed to use it.
This stadium hosts national and regional sports events as well as political rallies by the leaders of our country including President Jakaya Kikwete. In recent years we have heard of Nyayo Stadium in Kenya, and below is long list of disasters in the world of football. its the right time for our leaders to take action and not wait until some disaster happens.
Football stadium disasters
1902 – Ibrox Park, Glasgow – 25 are killed and 517 injured when the West Stand collapses during an international between England and Scotland. The game ends in a 1-1 draw but is later erased from official records.
1946 – Burnden Park, Bolton – 33 die and 500 are injured when a wall collapses during a cup tie between Bolton and Stoke.
1955 – Santiago, Chile – Six people died when 70,000 tried to jam into the stadium for the finals of the South American soccer tournament. Argentina beat Chile 1-0.
1964 – Lima, Peru – More than 300 fans die in a riot during an Olympic qualifying match between Argentina and Peru.
1967 – Turkey – A disallowed goal in a Turkish game provokes a riot in which 41 die and 600 are hurt.
1968 – Buenos Aires, Argentina – 74 die after a match between River Plate and Boca Juniors when fans, trying to escape burning newspaper being thrown down from an upper tier, rush towards a gate pushed shut by fans on the other side, unaware of them.
1971 – Ibrox Park, Glasgow – 66 people die in a crowd crush near the end of a match between Celtic and Rangers. The incident occurs when fans leaving the stadium are met by a group trying to return after hearing that Rangers had scored an equaliser.
1971 – Cairo, Egypt – Crowds attempting to enter a match at Zamalek Stadium break down barriers and a wall, leading to 48 deaths and 50 injuries.
1981 – Piraeus, Greece – 24 people die in a stampede as fans rush to leave the ground.
1982 – Moscow, USSR – Up to 340 people are crushed to death when fans leaving the stadium try to re-enter the stands after a last-minute goal in a UEFA Cup tie between Moscow Spartak and Dutch side Haarlem at the Luzhniki stadium, according to Sovietsky Sport. The government newspaper Izvestia puts the death toll at 66.
1982 – Cali, Colombia – 24 people die and 250 are hurt when drunken fans provoke a stampede at a match.
1982 – Algiers, Algeria – A concrete roof at a stadium collapses, killing 10 spectators.
1985 – Valley Parade, Bradford – A fire, which started in rubbish underneath a stand, kills 56 fans.
1985 – Brussels, Belgium – 39 fans, mostly Italians, die in rioting before the European Cup final between Liverpool and Juventus at the Heysel Stadium.
1988 – Kathmandu, Nepal – A stampede towards locked exits in a hailstorm at Nepal’s national soccer stadium produces the country’s worst civilian disaster when 70 fans are killed.
1989 – Hillsborough, Sheffield – 96 people are killed and at least 200 injured in Britain’s worst sports disaster after a crowd surge crushes packed fans against barriers at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.
1992 – Bastia, France – At least eight people are killed and 400 injured when a crowded temporary stand collapses at a match between Bastia and Marseille.
1996 – Lusaka, Zambia – Nine soccer fans were crushed to death and 78 others injured during a stampede following Zambia’s victory over Sudan in a World Cup qualifying game.
1996 – Guatemala City, Guatemala – 84 people died and about 150 others were injured during a stampede at a stadium before a World Cup qualifying match between Guatemala and Costa Rica.
1997 – Lagos, Nigeria – Five fans were crushed to death and more than a dozen were hospitalised when, following Nigeria’s 2-1 World Cup qualifying victory over Egypt, the crowd of 40,000 head for exits only to find three of the five main gates locked.
2000 – Monrovia, Liberia – Three people suffocated to death and others were injured as thousands of fans forced their way into an overcrowded stadium for a World Cup qualifier between Liberia and Chad.
2000 – Harare, Zimbabwe – 13 fans died after police fired tear gas into a crowd estimated at 50,000 to quell growing unruliness. The fans were killed in the stampede exiting the stadium.
2001 – Johannesburg, South Africa – At least 43 people were killed, including two children, and 155 injured during a league match between Kaiser Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at an overcrowded soccer stadium. People outside tried to push into Ellis Park stadium and were trapped.