Thousands of football fans have stampeded outside a stadium Sunday before a World Cup warm-up match between Nigeria and North Korea, leaving 15 people injured, including one policeman who was seriously hurt, says an AP report.
Several fans could be seen falling under the rush of people, many wearing Nigeria jerseys. The Makhulong Stadium in the Johannesburg suburb seats about 12,000 fans.
"What then occurred was large groups of people gathered outside the gates wanting to come in and wanting to get free tickets. Unfortunately in the process, the gates were opened and there was a stempede," the report said.
FIFA said it had nothing to do with the ticketing. "FIFA and the OC (local organizing committee) would like to reiterate that this friendly match has no relation whatsoever with the operational organisation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, for which we remain fully confident," FIFA said in a statement.
Security was increased as the match went on. "We have security plans that are there," said police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Eugene Opperman . "I think this is one of those isolated cases where we did not anticipate the large number of people who would be interested in this game." However, the incident led to England's security chiefs holding emergency meeting with World Cup organizers on Sunday night to ensure there will be no repeat incident.