Crowds attempted to enter through a southern entrace at Olembe stadium in the capital Yaounde to watch the host nation play Comoros.
Although the stadium’s capacity of 60,000 has been limited over coronavirus fears, the 60 percent cap is raised to 80 percent when Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions play.
“Eight deaths were recorded, two women in their thirties, four men in their thirties, one child, one body taken away by the family,” according to a preliminary health ministry report obtained by AFP.
The ministry said victims were “immediately transported” in ambulances, but “heavy road traffic slowed down the transport”.
State news had said earlier there had been “half a dozen deaths and dozens have been injured”, but there was no further information from the ministry about the number hospitalised.
A baby was also reportedly trampled by the crowd, the ministry added, although the infant was “immediately extracted and taken to Yaounde General Hospital” and is in a “medically stable” condition.
Tournament organisers had earlier confirmed to AFP that casualties had been recorded without providing further details.
Africa Cup of Nations organising committee spokesperson Abel Mbengue told AFP: “There was a crush as can happen when there is a stampede. We are waiting for reliable information on the number of casualties in this tragic incident”.
The Confederation of African Football, which runs the continent’s flagship competition, said it was “investigating the situation and trying to get more details on what transpired”.
In a statement online, the organisation said it had sent its secretary general to “visit the supporters in hospital in Yaounde”.
Source : Besoccer.com