Timeline: Major football stadium disasters over the last 40 years

A look at some of the major disasters in football stadiums over the last 40 years.

This picture taken on October 1, 2022 shows members of the Indonesian army securing the pitch after a football match between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya at Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang, East Java.
Indonesian police say at least 129 people have been killed and dozens injured in a stampede at a football match in the province of East Java [File: AFP]

Indonesia has suffered one of the world’s deadliest stadium disasters in which at least 129 people were killed and dozens injured in Malang in the province of East Java.

Arema FC fans stormed the pitch after their team lost 3-2 to Persebaya Surabaya on Saturday night.

Indonesian police say they tried to get fans to return to the stands and only fired tear gas to control the crowds after two officers were killed.


Here is a look at some of the major disasters in football stadiums over the last 40 years:

January 2022, Cameroon

At least eight people died and 38 were injured in a stampede at the Yaounde Olembe Stadium before the host country’s Africa Cup of Nations last-16 game against Comoros.

February 2012, Egypt

Fans rioted at the end of a match between Al Masry and Al Ahly in the city of Port Said. At least 73 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured. The Egyptian league was suspended for two years.

March 2009, Ivory Coast

At least 19 people were killed during a stampede at Abidjan’s Felix Houphouet-Boigny stadium before a World Cup qualifying match against Malawi.

May 2001, Ghana

At least 120 people were killed in a stampede at Accra’s main football stadium when police fired tear gas at rioting fans in one of Africa’s worst football-related disasters.

April 2001, South Africa

At least 43 people were crushed to death when fans tried to force their way into Johannesburg’s huge Ellis Park Stadium midway through a top South African league match.

October 1996, Guatemala

More than 80 people died and at least 147 were injured when an avalanche of fans tumbled down seats and a flight of stairs at a World Cup qualifying match between Guatemala and Costa Rica in Guatemala City.

May 1992, France

A stand at Bastia’s Furiani Stadium collapsed before a French Cup semi-final against Olympique de Marseille, killing 18 and injuring more than 2,300.

January 1991, South Africa

Forty-two people died in a stampede during a preseason game at the Oppenheimer Stadium in Orkney between the Kaizer Chiefs and the Orlando Pirates. A Pirates fan had attacked Chiefs supporters in the crowd with a knife.

April 1989, England

Ninety-six Liverpool supporters were crushed to death in an over-crowded and fenced-in enclosure at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield before an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

One victim died last June, 32 years after suffering severe and irreversible brain damage.

March 1988, Nepal

A stampede towards locked exits in a hailstorm at Nepal’s national football stadium in Kathmandu killed more than 90 people.

May 1985, Belgium

Thirty-nine fans died and more than 600 were injured in fan violence before the European Cup final between Juventus and Liverpool at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels.

May 1985, England

At least 56 people were killed and more than 200 injured when a fire broke out in the stands at the Valley Parade stadium in Bradford during a third division match against Lincoln City.

October 1982, Russia

Fans were crushed as they left a UEFA Cup tie between Spartak Moscow and Dutch side HFC Haarlem at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Officials from the former Soviet Union did not disclose the tragedy for years. When they did, they gave an official death toll of 66 although the number who died in the crush at one exit could have been as high as 340.

Source: Reuters