(WFI) At least 15 people have been killed and 24 injured in a stampede at a Congolese football match in Kinshasa.

The African football confederation said the stampede happened on the final day of league action of the national championship in Sunday’s match between AS Vita Club and TP Mazembe at the Tata Raphael Stadium.

The stampede, which caused the collapse of a wall and a gate at the stadium, started in added time when some supporters of Vita Club, angry about their team trailing Mazembe 1-0, showed their discontent by launching projectiles on the pitch. The police responded by throwing tear gas canisters at the crowd, sparking panic.

Issa Hayatou, president of the Confederation of African Football, expressed deep sorrow at the deaths and called for the Congolese football federation (Fecofa) to investigate and provide a report on the incident.

In a CAF statement, Hayatou said the African football fraternity was “deeply saddened” by the incident and reiterated the determination of CAF to combat all forms of violence in the game.

“I would like to express my deepest sympathy on hearing of the untimely deaths of at least 15 people during the match of AS Vita and TP Mazembe,” he said.

In reiterating CAF’s attempts to combat all forms of football hooliganism and violence, Hayatou added: “I wish to re-emphasize that any acts of violence have no place in football.

“They must be condemned in the strongest possible terms and I urge the Fecofa and authorities in the DRC to thoroughly investigate this matter and ensure that measures put in place to avoid a repeat of any incidents are fully briefed with CAF and forestall any such occurrence.”

By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson

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