Following the tragedy at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo where at least 22 fans lost their lives in unfortunate circumstances in and around the stadium during the Egyptian championship match between Zamalek and ENPPI, the CAF President has warned that African football should not tolerate any phenomenon that breeds hooliganism and violence.
Dr. Hayatou warned that local Football Authorities across Africa must remain resolute and steadfast and that they must take strong measures to fight violence in all its forms wherever it occurs to eradicate such tragedies.
“African football should never be a fertile ground for any form of hooliganism and violence. I wish to reiterate my call last year that we need to continue with our collective hard work and national federations and authorities must take strong action against any form of violence.”
“We must remain steadfast and restate in the strongest terms our commitment to eradicate all forms of violence or unsporting behaviour from the continent,” Hayatou said adding that football must remain a moment of good fraternity, fellowship, sharing, celebration and joy.
“These values are legendary with African populations, our people’s culture of hospitality and solidarity. That is why it is so saddening and heart-breaking to witness any deaths or incidents of violence at stadia,”
Official reports estimated that at least 22 fans were killed in a stampede as fans clashed with Egyptian Police at the Air Defense stadium in Sunday February 8, 2015 after which the Egyptian Football Federation announced the indefinite suspension of the League. CAF President said that African football was shocked and mourned the incidents at the Air Defense Stadium.
During the CAF annual meetings held in Addis Ababa in September 2014 , the Executive Committee, following a request made by the CAF President, resolved to set up a Working Group whose mandate will be to draw up solutions to curb what Hayatou considered two major scourges plaguing African football today; violence at stadia and age-cheating.
The CAF Executive Committee then resolved to name the CAF Fair Play Award after Cameroon and JS Kabylie striker Albert Ebosse. Ebosse was killed by a projectile at the end of a match of the Algerian championship last year.
By: Jammeh E.K. Bojang