The Police of El Salvador arrested this Thursday, May 25, five alleged perpetrators of the stampede registered last Saturday at the Cuscatlán Stadium, in the capital of the country, which left 12 people dead. Among the detainees are three directors of the Alianza Fútbol Club, after the Prosecutor’s Office accused them of “negligence” in the organization and overselling of tickets for the quarterfinal match of the Salvadoran tournament, which was finally canceled due to the tragedy.
Investigations and captures in an attempt to find those responsible for a tragedy in El Salvador that goes around the world.
The Prosecutor’s Office ordered the arrest of five people, including the president of Alianza Fútbol Club, Pedro Hernández, the team’s security manager, Edwin Abarca Ventura, and the club’s financial director, Zoila Córdova. The other two detainees are Reynaldo Avelar Contreras, general manager of Escenarios Deportivos de El Salvador (EDESSA) and Samuel García Montano, who was in charge of the keys to the stadium.
All were arrested in the early hours of this Thursday, May 25, and are accused of wrongful death, wrongful injury and public havoc.
After carrying out the investigative procedures, it has been possible to identify those responsible for the tragedy that occurred in the Cuscatlán Stadium. pic.twitter.com/0LMuIBEPPJ
— Attorney General of the Republic of El Salvador (@FGR_SV) May 25, 2023
The accusing body points to his involvement in alleged actions of negligence that would have caused the stampede on Saturday, May 20, in the Ecuscatlan stadiumin San Salvador, which left 12 people dead and more than 100 injured.
“The negligence in the organization and greed, due to overbooking, 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 next few days,” said the Salvadoran Prosecutor’s Office through a message on his Twitter account.
The head of the National Civil Police, Mauricio Arriaza Chicas, assured that the authorities are also investigating the organized fan groups of the club.
The circumstances surrounding the stampede
The events occurred when hundreds of football fans crowded into one of the entrances to the general sector of the stadium. The first half of the match in which Alianza FC and the FAS sports club were competing in the quarterfinals of the match was already over.the Clausura 2023 tournament of the professional soccer league.
But hundreds of fans were infuriated when they were not allowed in despite having tickets. They pushed until they broke down a front door, at which point the human rush was unleashed.
Dozens of people were left lying on the ground, some suffocated from the pressure and others tried to get out of the confinement.
The fans who were in the stands and watching what was happening tried to get the attention of the players and the game was suspended.
Unconscious fans were carried from a tunnel at the entrance to the field of play, where others were frantically trying to revive them.
According to the investigations, there was an overselling of tickets, the entrance of the attendees did not occur sufficiently in advance for an orderly and safe entrance and the enabled gates were not sufficient for the number of fans in the place.
The Prosecutor’s Office indicates that the organizers, after exhausting the available tickets for the sporting event, decided to illegally sell tickets issued for previous matches.
Among those arrested this Thursday would be allegedly involved in the excess sale of tickets, one of the key elements of the investigation.
Earlier this week, the Disciplinary Committee of the Salvadoran Football Federation fined Alianza FC $30,000 and determined that it will play without fans for one year.
In addition, the Federation and the first professional division announced that they are suspending the championship. “Our priority will be to ensure that security measures are reinforced at football events,” they said in a statement.
With Reuters, AP and local media
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