Stampede kills one, wounds 60 others in Basra ahead of Gulf Cup final
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – At least one person has died and 60 others wounded in a stampede near the Iraqi city of Basra’s stadium, ahead of the final match of the Arab Gulf 25th tournament, which is set to take place tonight between Iraq’s national football team and Oman.
Thousands of fans are flocking to the stadium, known as Palm Trunk, 11 hours before the opening whistle is blown, according to live footage at the arena.
As a result of the crowd rush, one has died and 60 others have been wounded with minor injuries, according to the state media.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad Shia’ Al-Sudani has traveled to the province and met with local authorities to assess the situation. Authorities have been calling on the enthusiastic fans to show restraint.
After four decades of absence, the regional tournament is taking place on Iraqi soil again. The last time that Iraq won the Cup was in 1979, the same year the country last hosted the competition.
The opening ceremony of the Gulf Cup drew public criticism when footage showed a brawl between the security details of top Iraqi officials over seats. Internet blackouts were experienced by the fans as well.
UPDATE: The fans of the Iraqi national team attended to the stadium 11 hours before the beginning of the Arab Gulf Cup final match between Iraq 🇮🇶 and Oman 🇴🇲. pic.twitter.com/yQ8slYTgAM— MUSTAFA SAADOON (@SaadoonMustafa) January 19, 2023