I don’t know why this article is so shocked about how our Black African brothers can’t keep anything civilised. This is just daily life in darkest Africa and South Africa is no different. Give them something for free and they will not only take the freebie, but also bite the giving hand. Welcome to Africa and enjoy the tournament!
Fears over how South Africa will deal with 350,000 visiting supporters to the World Cup were highlighted after a terrifying stampede at a pre-tournament friendly.
Ten people were taken to hospital – with one police officer suffering serious injuries – after 1,000 spectators rushed to get into the friendly match yesterday between Nigeria and North Korea at the Makhulong Stadium in Johannesburg.
Disturbing scenes showed children being taken away with blood pouring from their faces.
The images will unnerve the game’s governing body FIFA which has resisted claims that South Africa does not have the infrastructure and organisation to stage the tournament.
Fans had tried to break down the gates at the ground after police had closed them after the 4pm kick-off as earlier spectators tried to get into the ground.
The problem of dealing with a relatively small crowd came as England prepare to play at a similar ground tomorrw in a pre-tournament friendly in front of sell out crowd of 12,000.
The game against South African side the Platinum All Stars takes place near their Rustenburg training camp and the crowd has been reduced to 12,000 although the ground has a 20,000 capacity.
Last night the South African authorities made a plea for football fans to turn up early for tournament games to prevent a repeat of yesterday’s scenes.
However, while fans from many other countries like to enter grounds more than an hour before kick-off thousands the tradition for English supporters has been to make their way to their seats less than 15 minutes before the games start.
Problems occurred for the South African police and authorities yesterday when hundreds of fans attempted to enter the ground carrying photocopies of free tickets which had been distributed before the match.
Most of those involved in both an initial stampede and then an attempt to rush the gates of the stadium appeared to be wearing Nigerian jerseys.
Of equal concern to the South African World Cup organisers was a problem inside the ground shortly after the second half began.
The match referee was forced to halt the game for ten minutes after a railing attached to a grandstand broke loose and left hundreds of fans just feet from a dangerous fall from the terracing.
Last night an FA spokesman said that the South African tournament organisers had made assurances that security for the England friendly today would be ‘intensified.’
The Makhulong Stadium has a 15,000 capacity and last year was the subject of a £3.8 million refit as one of four practice stadiums to be used in and around the city during the World Cup.
The ground has been cleared by both the South African Premier Soccer League and FIFA and boasts floodlights, a 200 square metre media facility and both VIP and V-VIP areas.
Yesterday fans caught up in the stampede told how they were crushed on the ground shortly before kick-off.
‘The crowd just overpowered me and I went down,’ said Japhta Mombelo who suffered cuts to his head.
‘I fell down and people just fell over me.The crowd was overpowering.’
The first rush came when the gates opened to allow fans into the stadium. Police soon closed the gates, but when they were reopened, a second rush occurred, with more people being pushed over.
A total of six ambulances were sent to the scene .
The Nigeria and North Korean football teams were lining up for the national anthems when the second surge happened and had no idea about the scenes outside the ground.
Last year, FIFA fined Ivory Coast’s football federation more than £30,000 after 22 people died in a stampede at a World Cup qualifying match.
Official World Cup security was not in place at the match because it was a only classed as a ‘friendly’ but one police officer blamed FIFA for the trouble.
‘FIFA made the tickets free and now look what happened. This was not our problem but FIFA’s problem because so many people heard they could watch a match for nothing.’
England’s warm-up game today (Mon) at the Moruleng Stadium will see all supporters produce their tickets for the match which is eagerly anticipated by local soccer enthusiasts.
Last night an FA spokesman said: ‘ We were always insistent that there should only be 12,000 tickets for this game even though the stadium is capable of holding 20,000.The distribution of the tickets was also very carefully controlled.
‘But after the incident at the Nigeria-North Korea game we called the organisers to highlight the need for measures to prevent any such rush or stampede at our game and have been assured security in and around the ground will be intensified.’