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El Salvador police arrest 5 soccer club officials over deadly stampede 

The mob of soccer fans knocked down a gate to the stadium, creating a stampede that crushed and killed 12 individuals

Estampida humana en estadio de El Salvador | EFE

May 26, 2023 7:10am

Updated: May 26, 2023 7:10am

El Salvador police arrested five individuals who were allegedly responsible for the stampede at a soccer game that left 12 dead last weekend. 

The Attorney General’s Office said on Thursday that three team officials of Alianza FC, including the president, the security manager, and the financial manager, as well as the manager of Estadios Deportivos de El Salvador (EDESSA) and the person who was in charge of the stadium keys will be charged with homicide, culpable injury, and public damage.

They are expected to make their initial court appearance in the coming days. 

"Negligence in the organization and greed, by over-selling, generated a human avalanche that caused the loss of lives, as well as injuries, and endangered the safety of the attendees. They will be brought before the courts in the coming days," the Prosecutor's Office said on Twitter.

The deadly incident took place last weekend during the quarterfinal playoffs between Alianza FC and Club Deportivo at the Cuscatlan stadium. Hundreds of soccer fans became angry after not being allowed to enter the stadium despite having tickets to the game. The mob of soccer fans knocked down a gate to the stadium, creating a stampede that crushed and killed 12 individuals. 

Prosecutors claim that the game’s organizers oversold the tickets to the game, causing more people to show up to the stadium. Additionally, the entrances were not opened early enough for the fans to get in an orderly and safe manner. 

Earlier this week, the Salvadoran Soccer Federation’s Disciplinary Committee said that Alizanza would have to play without fans for a year, in addition to paying a fine of $30,000. 

The soccer federation of El Salvador on Wednesday announced that the soccer season was over in light of the tragic event.

"As the governing body of Salvadoran soccer, FESFUT, and the organizer of the El Salvador National Championship, Liga Primera Division, we have determined to end the 2022-2023 El Salvador National Championship," the federation said in a statement. 

“Our priority will be to ensure that security measures are reinforced as soccer events,” they continued.