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Cameroon: Hundred of football fans risk life due to lack of space

by Lesley Ngwa
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  • The Reunification annex stadium was filled to the rafters as Thousands turned out to watch Union Sportive versus Bamboutos FC of Mbouda
  • Many fans could not get a seat in the 2500-seat annex stadium, so resulted to extreme acts to catch the live action
  • The choice of a small Annex stadium for the match not only disappointed the fans of both teams, but also caused financial losses to the federation.

The Bepanda Annex Stadium in Douala, was overflowing with supporters on Sunday, when Dynamo de Douala faced Bamboutos de Mbouda in match day five of the MTN Elite one championship.

Fans of the two illustrious clubs in Cameroon came out in their number to watch the game but only a handful found the right sitting position.

Less than an hour to the game, the stadium was already filled to its capacity. At kick off, many of them occupied the sidewalk, sat on the floor or leaned against something just so they could catch a glimpse of the action.

Others had to stand by the pitch barrier nettling, or better still climb on the stadium fence, risking their safety and security. At half-time a crowd of supporters was still clamoring to gain entrance while a portion settled for vantage points close to the stadium. One of which is an uncompleted building, with windows directly facing the stadium.

This situation has raised eyebrows as it not only puts the lives of these lovers of the game at risk, but also questions the organization and image of the Cameroon football league.

Since match day three, the MTN Elite One championship has eluded main stadiums in the city of Douala. High-profile games like Dynamo de Douala against Bamboutos de Mbouda, Union Sportive versus Bamboutos de Mbouda and Les Astres versus Canon Sportive, which normally drew attention from fans, have been scheduled at the annex venues, making it difficult for these supporters to truly enjoy the action.

Moreover, the earnings that should have been made from ticket sales has also reduced as many shy away from paying two thousand Frs for a ticket without an assured seat.

There is little hope for the situation to change soon, as FECAFOOT and the national sports infrastructures commission continue to play the blame game.

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