17 July 2017

Gambia: We Mourn With Our People in Senegal

The sad news about the deaths and injuries that emanated from a stampede that took place at the national stadium of Senegal is shocking and heartrending.

Eight people, we understand, have been killed and 60 injured by the collapse of walls in a stampede during a football league final in Dakar, and we were told the stampede broke out following clashes towards the end of the match. This led to two major supporting walls collapsing on people in the stadium.

This is serious grief for our people in Senegal but it is also a pain in our heart in The Gambia, as whatever affects Senegal affects The Gambia since we are a people of the same family.

We would therefore like to express our condolence to the bereaved families and our sympathy for the injured. The same goes for the football association and all the people of Senegal.

Looking at how the tragedy occurred with its causative factors - to which hooliganism and police high handedness have their take - we are touched to throw in some warnings and words of concern that, unruly behavior from fans and apparently lack of tact from security apparatus should be seriously put a stop to, so as such a catastrophe and traumatic incident does not come on us again just like that.

Another observation is that safety checks should always be observed as regards the safety of our stadiums and the capacity they can take to make it safe for lives within its confines.

Coming home to The Gambia, we should draw some lessons from this tragic happening in our neighbours' yard and try to put all necessary measures in place to guard against it, for we do experience some amount of hooliganism here and there from football fans for one reason or the other.

Please, please, let's learn from these happening around us, and do the right thing as the beautiful game - football - must always be maintained beautifully.

Once again we mourn with our kith and kin in Senegal as we share their grief and loss.


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