Police and Safa investigating FNB Stadium stampede in Kaizer Chiefs vs. Orlando Pirates clash

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The stampede took place during the Carling Black Label Champion Cup match, while Kaizer Chiefs beat Pirates 1-0 on Saturday, July 28

Two football supporters sadly passed away when the incident took place during the 2017-18 season opener.

The Soweto Derby kicks off the South African football season, matching the country's two most popular clubs (Chiefs and Pirates) no matter where they finished in the league table and Cups in the previous campaign.

Being the most eagerly anticipated fixture for the majority of SA fans, the Derby packs local stadiums like no other game in the country. Tickets for this match were sold out two weeks in advance and match organisers believe everything was in place for a safe event on Saturday, July 28. 

After their initial investigation at the stadium, the police have pointed at the supporters rushing at the gates, "a rolling mass of people were trying to get into the stadium," said the police to News 24. 

We will have to wait for a fuller investigation before drawing a conclusion. 19 other fans were injured and one is in a critical condition.

Sponsors Carling Black Label stated that two fans passed away due to ''blunt force trauma''.

Michael Sun, MMC for public safety for the City of Johannesburg alleged that the sale of fake tickets were also to blame for the incident at Gate J. 

South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) journalist Hlomla Hlangani was critical of the supporters.

"There was lots of traffic to get inside the stadium... people were getting angry and some were drunk... and wanted to get into the stadium quickly," said Hlangani.

Though, it is quick to blame ''drunkeness'' for the tragedy when one considers it is common for fans to be drunk at any soccer stadium. The question is: Why did this tragedy take place at Gate J and not at any other gate if fake tickets were sold? Could better security have prevented the stampede?

South African Football Association President Dr Danny Jordaan released the following statement to confirm that the incident will be investigated further.

"A football match is supposed to be a place of entertainment. What happened at FNB Stadium is very unfortunate," said Jordaan.

“We are going to ask for a full report and institute a full investigation on what transpired and the cause for the stampede.

“I would also like to wish the injured speedy recovery. A football match is supposed to be a place of entertainment not a death field and what happened at FNB Stadium is very unfortunate,” he added.

In the year 2001 South African soccer also experienced a tragedy when 43 supporters were killed in a stampede, and 10 years earlier 42 fans similarly passed away in another Kaizer Chiefs vs. Orlando Pirates game.