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Deadly stampede in El Salvador: heavy penalties against the host football club | TV5MONDE

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele had promised after the deadly stampede that left twelve dead on Saturday in a stadium: no one “will go unpunished”. Heavy penalties are falling on the club organizing the tournament, already sentenced to a year of matches behind closed doors, and whose leaders were arrested on Thursday.

Justice announced the arrest of Pedro Hernandez, the president of Alianza de San Salvador, the head of security of the club, its financial director, as well as the general manager of the company which operates the Cuscatlan stadium where the drama is produced.

Twelve people died in this stadium with a capacity of 35,000 seats, one of the largest in Central America. More than 500 others had to seek medical treatment.

The tragedy occurred when turned-back supporters broke down a gate giving access to the southern sector of the enclosure, the most popular.

President Bukele immediately announced on Twitter that the investigation “will concern everyone: teams, management, state, ticket office, league, federation, etc.”. “Whoever the culprits are, they will not go unpunished,” he warned.

“The investigation revealed that there were not enough entrance doors for the number of supporters” expected during the Alianza-FAS match, the quarter-final second leg of the closing tournament of the local championship, said on Twitter the Office of the Attorney General (FGR).

In addition, the accesses “were not opened early enough to allow orderly and safe entry”, he added.

“Greed”

“After having sold all the tickets for the match”, the organizers also “decided to illegally sell tickets issued for previous meetings”, still accuses the prosecution, pointing the finger at the “negligence” and the “greed” of the put in cause.

Overselling tickets on the black market is a common practice in the country, and not only for this match, lamented the director of civil protection services Luis Alonso Amaya.

Those arrested should be brought to justice in the coming days and if found guilty, they face up to 12 years in prison.

The Salvadoran Football Federation (Fesfut) and the clubs announced on Wednesday the decision to stop the closing tournament of the national championship, angering the players. The federation invoked “the need to guarantee security in sports arenas”.

The Alianza club was held responsible for the tragedy by the Festfut and received a one-year sanction of matches behind closed doors. He was also declared the loser of the match with the FAS club, also from the capital, which had been interrupted at the time of the tragedy, after 15 minutes of play. Alianza was finally sentenced by the federation to a fine of 30,000 dollars.

For the federation, Alianza had “not adopted measures aimed at preventing events” or had “done it negligently”.

In particular, she considered that the access controls to the stadium had been “manifestly deficient”.

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