FIFA Boss Sepp Blatter.

FIFA Boss Sepp Blatter.

FIFA AND CAF presidents Joseph Sepp Blatter and Issa Hayatou expressed deep sorrow at the tragic death of at least 15 football fans who were killed in a stampede during the Congolese league match between AS Vita Club and TP Mazembe in Kinshasa.

On his twitter handle, Blatter said, “Waiting for more news from DR Congo too after tragic reports. My thoughts are with all those who saw loved ones go to a game, not to return.

“Racism and games stopped/abandoned due to acts of hooliganism. Each Federation needs to act. Sanctions are available & HAVE to be applied,” he said.

Hayatou said the African football fraternity was deeply saddened by the incident and reiterated the determination of the governing body of African football to combat all forms of violence in the game.

“I would like to express my deepest sympathy on hearing of the untimely deaths of at least 15 people during the match of AS Vita and TP Mazembe.’

“Personally, and on behalf of the members of the African football community, I should be grateful if you could extend our deepest condolences to their families, friends and loved ones. Further, we wish those that have been reported injured and receiving medical assistance full recovery,” Hayatou said.

In reiterating CAF’s strong position on combating all forms of violence at stadia, Hayatou said: “I wish to re-emphasize that any acts of violence have no place in football. They must be condemned in the strongest possible terms and I urge the Fecofa and authorities in the DRC to thoroughly investigate this matter and ensure that measures put in place to avoid a repeat of any incidents are fully briefed with CAF and forestall any such occurrence.”

On the final day of league action of the national championship in the match between AS Vita Club and TP Mazembe at the Tata Raphael Stadium in Kinshasa on Sunday, May 11, 15 people were killed and many others injured.

This followed a stampede that caused the collapse of a wall and a gate of the Tata Raphael stadium which had recently been restored by the AS Vita Club.

The stampede started in additional time of the match, when some supporters of the Vita club, incensed about their team trailing Mazembe 1-0, showed their discontent by launching projectiles on the pitch. The police responded by throwing tear gas canisters at the crowd.

The governor of Kinshasa, Andre Kimbuta has since set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the matter.

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