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iol spt apr11 Ellis Park

REUTERS

April 11 marks the anniversary of the Ellis Park Stadium disaster when 43 football fans lost their lives in 2001. Photo by: Juda Ngwenya/Reuters

Johannesburg – Friday was the anniversary of the Ellis Park Stadium disaster when many football fans lost their lives in 2001, the Premier Soccer League (PSL) said.

“As the league, we will never forget the Ellis Park tragedy – a sad day in our football history,” said PSL chairman Irvin Khoza.

“Every year we remind ourselves and the lessons it offered. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families of those football supporters who lost their lives.”

On April 11, 2001, spectators poured into the Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg for the Soweto derby match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

There was already a 60,000 capacity crowd in the stadium, but reports suggested that a further 30,000 fans were trying to gain entry to the stadium.

An Orlando Pirates' equaliser sparked a further surge by the fans trying to gain entry as they scrambled to see what had happened.

As the stampede pressed forward, 43 people were crushed to death. The match was stopped and the crowd dispersed. – Sapa


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