Witness described the chaos as thousands of fans struggled to gain access to the Paul Biya stadium in the Cameroon capital Yaounde, where the hosts were facing Comoros
Footage showed supporters struggling to gain access to the Paul Biya stadium in Yaounde for the last-16 match, with fans being crushed at an entry gate.
The latest reports indicate that 38 people have been injured, with seven in a serious condition, with the AFP news agency adding that a child is among the fatalities.
The stadium has a capacity of 60,000, but due to Covid-19 restrictions it had been capped at 80 per cent full for the Comoros match.
Journalist Leocadia Bongben told the BBC that the crush emanated from one of the fan zones outside the stadium.
“People started shouting,” she said.
“A minute after that an ambulance came to the stadium, but when we got to the place the police would not allow us to get close to where the stampede was.
“It’s really quite a sad situation that people go to watch a game and they end up dying there.”
The Confederation of African Football released a statement on Monday night which read: “CAF is aware of the incident that took place at Olembe Stadium during the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations fixture between hosts Cameroon and Comoros tonight, 24 January 2022.
“CAF is currently investigating the situation and trying to get more details on what transpired.
“We are in constant communication with the Cameroon government and the Local Organizing Committee.
“Tonight, the CAF President Dr Patrice Motsepe sent the General Secretary, Veron Mosengo-Omba to visit the supporters in hospital in Yaounde.”
Cameroon won the game 2-1 to set up a quarter-final date with Gambia.
Jimmy Abdou was sent off after seven minutes as Comoros, minus a recognised goalkeeper due to injury and coronavirus, saw their fairytale run end.
Comoros, ranked 132 in the world, were without the injured Salim Ben Boina for the round-of-16 tie in Yaounde while fellow goalkeepers Ali Ahamada and Moyadh Ousseini had both tested positive for Covid-19.
Ajaccio’s 5ft 8in left-back Chaker Alhadhur took over in goal for a Comoros side who were without several outfield players and coach Amir Abdou to coronavirus.
Karl Toko Ekambi and Vincent Aboubakar were on target as Cameroon secured a quarter-final date with Gambia, but it was not without concern as Youssouf M’Changama thundered home a 30-yard free-kick nine minutes from time.