Least one football fan has been killed and 60 others injured in a tragic crush outside a stadium in the southern iraqi city of basra. tens of thousands of fans had been heading to the basra international stadium to watch iraq play oman in the final of the arabian gulf cup, many hoping to be allowed in despite not having tickets. videos posted on social media appear to show several people lying motionless on the ground and medics trying to resuscitate a man.
Incident occurred on friday evening, just hours before the match was due to kick off at 19:00 local time (16:00 gmt). the turnstiles had not yet been opened and a huge crowd was seen stretching along a road to the stadium. prime minister mohammed shia sudani was said to be overseeing the situation on the ground.
Tragedy appears to have been caused by the sheer number of people trying to enter the stadium. with many hoping to get in despite not having tickets, the pressure on the turnstiles became too much and a crush ensued. this is the first time iraq has hosted the biennial arabian gulf cup since 1979, and the tournament was intended to offer a more positive image of the country after many years of conflict and political turmoil. fans with tickets were later allowed into the stadium before the turnstiles were closed again and those still outside urged to leave. a medical source told state-owned iraqi national agency (ina) that some of the injured were in critical condition.