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Stampede at soccer stadium in El Salvador causes 12 deaths

The El Salvador government has said it will undertake a full investigation after the tragedy at the Cuscatlán Stadium during the FAS and Alianza game.

Estados Unidos
Rescuers attend an injured man lying on the pitch following a stampede during a football match between Alianza and FAS at Cuscatlan stadium in San Salvador, on May 20, 2023. Nine people were killed May 20, 2023 in a stampede at an El Salvador stadium where soccer fans had gathered to watch a local tournament, police said. (Photo by Milton FLORES / AFP)

The match between Alianza and FAS at the Cuscatlán Stadium in El Salvador had to be suspended due to a stampede that left 12 fans dead, according to a report by the Presidency’s Press Secretariat.

12 dead and hundreds injured

The official report of the Secretariat ruled that, in addition to the deaths, there were hundreds of people injured. The National Civil Police had counted nine deaths in the stampede, but the figure was later updated to 12.

Teams from the Ministry of Health transferred hundreds of fans who were injured to medical centers after the stampede, explained the press secretary via Twitter. Shocking video footage of the stadium entrance emerged.

The match between Alianza and FAS was suspended, with the quarterfinal second leg sitting at 0-0 at the time of the tragedy, with the Tigrillos having a single goal advantage from the first leg.

Nayib Bukele on the stampede at Cuscatlán Stadium

The President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, announced through his social media account that the National Civil Police and the Attorney General’s Office will conduct a thorough investigation into the stampede.

The President stated that all entities involved, including the teams, the stadium, the ticketing company, the league, and the Salvadoran Football Federation, will be looked into.

Sunday games cancelled

Meanwhile, the Salvadoran Football Federation (FESFUT) issued a statement expressing solidarity with the affected by the tragedy. The organization also declared that they will request a report on the incident.

Subsequently, the Federation announced the suspension of all matches scheduled for Sunday 21 May and requested an urgent meeting of the Sports Venue Security Commission at the FESFUT premises.

LaLiga’s Tebas offers support to El Salvador

As the news of the horrible incident spread, some were quick to offer support, including LaLiga president, Javier Tebas, who took to Twitter.

“I am so sorry hearing the news coming out of El Salvador, where 12 fans have died in a stampede. In addition to being great fans of LaLiga, Salvadorans are a sister nation and Nayib Bukele has our support so that such a tragedy never happens again.