Soccer-Arrest warrant issued for five people in El Salvador stadium stampede

  • Football
  • Thursday, 25 May 2023

FILE PHOTO: A man is attended to in an ambulance as people gather following a stampede prior to a soccer game between C.D. FAS Vs. Alianza F.C. at the Cuzcatlan stadium, in San Salvador, El Salvador May 20, 2023. REUTERS/ Jose Cabezas/File Photo

(Reuters) - El Salvador's Public Prosecutor's Office ordered the arrest of five people allegedly responsible for the weekend stampede at the Cuscatlan stadium in the country's capital that left 12 fans dead during the second leg of the quarter-final playoffs between Alianza FC and Club Deportivo.

The Public Prosecutor's Office has named three Alianza FC team officials, including the president, the security manager and the financial manager, as well as the general manager of Estadios Deportivos de El Salvador (EDESSA) and the person in charge of the stadium keys, who will be prosecuted for culpable homicide, culpable injury and public damage.

"Negligence in the organisation and greed, by over-selling, generated a human avalanche that caused the loss of lives, as well as injuries and endangered the safety of the attendees. They will be brought before the courts in the coming days," the Prosecutor's Office said on Twitter on Thursday.

A total of 12 fans died and hundreds were treated by rescue services last Saturday after a stampede was reported at one of the entrances to the general sector of the Cuscatlan stadium, an event that shocked football internationally.

According to the institution's investigations, the gates provided were not sufficient for the number of fans and the entrances were not opened early enough for an orderly and safe entry.

The organisers, having sold out the tickets available for the sporting event, decided to illegally sell tickets issued for previous matches, it added.

Reuters could not immediately contact those named or their lawyers.

Salvadoran Football Federation fined Alianza FC $30,000 and handed down a one-year stadium ban on Tuesday.

On Wednesday night, El Salvador's football authorities ended the 2022-2023 professional league championship to focus on reinforcing security measures for the events.

(Reporting by Nelson Renteria in El Salvador, Writing by Angelica Medina in Mexico City; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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