Who Is The Founder Of Orlando Pirates Football Club African Football: A Chronology Of Tragedies On And Off The Field Of Play

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African Football: A Chronology Of Tragedies On And Off The Field Of Play

Professional football as a competitive sport has had its fair share of tragedies over the years. Apart from the tragedies on the field, the spectators were not spared either.

The darkest day in football in Africa may remain the plane crash of April 27, 1993, when 18 members of the Zambia national team and 12 technical and crew members died when their plane crashed into the sea off the coast of Gabon.

Tragedy spreads across continents, and that fact was confirmed during the League match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. The stampede at the Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg resulted in the deaths of 43 people, the worst disaster in South African sports history.

Africa again witnessed another sporting tragedy when a local league match between Lupopo and TP Mazembe on 30 April 2001 resulted in the death of 14 people during a stampede following crowd trouble at a major league match in the city of Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Nigerian sporting family witnessed one of the worst football tragedies on December 23, 2008, when nine amateur footballers and two coaches were burnt to death in a car accident on their way from Jos, Plateau State.

The tears of grief had just dried up when 15 members of the amateur team, FK Jimeta from Adamawa State, Nigeria, died in another road accident on January 26, 2009.

Twelve of the dead were players, while the remaining three were coaches.

Extreme heat and overcrowding led to the death of 4 soccer fans at the Ghana League match between Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oaks in Kumasi on Sunday February 8, 2009.

On 21 February 2009, 13 supporters of the Nigerian Premier League side Ocean Boys FC from Yenegoa were shot dead by suspected cultists on their way to attend a Premier League match involving their team and Bayelsa United at the Ugeli Township Stadium in Delta State, Nigeria.

Tragedy struck at the Stade Félix Houphout-Boigny in Abidjan, when Ivory Coast hosted Malawi, as 22 soccer fans were crushed to death when a fence collapsed as they tried to enter the already jam-packed stadium, during a 2010 World Cup Qualifier.

Even football players are not spared from these tragedies, which often happen on or off the field.

Below is a list of African footballers who have died on the field of play.

  • Samuel Okwaraji (Nigeria) – died of a heart attack on August 12, 1989.
  • Amir Angwe (Nigeria) – died of a heart attack on October 29, 1995
  • George Iginewari (Nigeria) – died of a gunshot wound in 1995
  • Tunde Charity (Nigeria) – died of a head injury in 1997
  • Emmanuel Nwanegbo (Nigeria) – died of heart failure on August 30, 1997.
  • Shamo Kwaye (Ghana) – died in training with the team on November 30, 1997
  • John Ikoroma (Nigeria) – died of a heart attack in February 2000
  • Charles Esheko (Nigeria) – died of a heart attack on July 14, 2001.
  • Marc-Vivien Fo (Cameroon) – died of a heart attack on June 26, 2003.
  • Sam Okoye (Nigeria) – died after a short illness in August 2005
  • Chaswe Nsofwa (Zambia) – died of heart failure on 29 August 2007.
  • Guy Chingoma (Congo DR) – died of heart disease on February 9, 2009.
  • George Katete (Congo DR) – died of a heart attack on March 5, 2009
  • Orobosa Adun (Nigeria) – fell and died on May 26, 2009.
  • Endurance Idahor (Nigeria) – died of an attack on March 13, 2010

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