Four killed in stampede at soccer final in Honduras

Four killed in stampede at soccer final in Honduras
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It should have been a day of celebration as Motagua were crowned soccer champions in Honduras, but instead it was marred by tragedy.

According to Honduras’ national police, four people were killed and several injured in a stampede at the national stadium Sunday prior to the league final between Motagua and Honduras Progreso.

The incident occurred, police say, when a group of fans tried to enter one section of the stadium in a violent manner.

Montagua club president, Pedro Atala, said the incident was caused by false ticket sales and denied his club were responsible for overselling tickets.

“There is a joy that we cannot hide, but we also have mixed feelings,” Atala told Honduran TV.

“First and foremost, our deepest condolences to the people who died outside the stadium, due to selling of fake tickets and an increase in the number of fans that the police didn’t expect.

“We want to make clear, that at no point was there overselling of tickets. That is easy to prove.

“We are going to try and find the relatives of the victims to help them as best we can.”

The match eventually went ahead following a minute’s silence, with Montagua winning 3-0.

Atala later tweeted that security officials had recommended the match should not be canceled as the stadium was already full.

Police say they had reinforced security before the match by placing 600 law enforcement officers at the stadium, in the country’s capital, Tegucigalpa.

“To ensure order and safety of those attending the sporting event and avoiding violent events, in agreement with the authorities of the National League, it was decided to reinforce the control measures for the entry of fans into the stadium,” a statement read.

Police will now investigate the clubs to see if they oversold their tickets.