World Cup stampede renews concern over South Africa's preparedness
Sunday's World Cup stampede during a friendly between Nigeria and North Korea injured more than a dozen people, but officials say this will not be a problem at any of the tournament's official matches.
Johannesburg, South Africa
The stampede occurred in the township of Tembisa -– mid-way between Johannesburg and Pretoria, the nation’s capital. The private company that organized the event handed out 10,000 free tickets, but thousands who didn't receive a free ticket still pushed to get inside the stadium. At least 14 people were injured, including a police officer.
World Cup organizers, the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA), offered condolences to those injured but quickly distanced themselves from the friendly, which was organized by the two participating teams and occurred at a stadium that will not be used in the World Cup, which begins on Friday.
“FIFA and the OC [Organizing Committee] would like to first wish a prompt recovery to those who have been affected by these incidents,” FIFA said in a statement. “In addition, FIFA and the OC would like to reiterate that this friendly match has no relation whatsoever with the operational organization of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, for which we remain fully confident.”
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