Fan Stampede Mars Pre-World Cup Match
At least 15 injured just 5 days before tournament begins
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2010 2:05 PM CDT
Nigeria fans cheer during a warmup match against North Korea at Makhulong Stadium near Johannesburg, June 6, 2010. Fans who couldn't gain admission stampeded outside the gates, injuring at least 15.   (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)
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(Newser) – Fans stampeded outside the gates of a stadium playing host to a World Cup warmup match today near Johannesburg, injuring at least 15. A police officer was seriously hurt as violence marred the countdown to the first African World Cup, which begins Friday. " He was crushed by the gates as people stormed them, trying to get in, " an official told Reuters.

Fans of Nigeria—which defeated North Korea, 3-1—stormed the gates of Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa, where free tickets were being distributed. "The crowd just overpowered me and I went down," a bleeding fan told the LA Times. "I fell down and people just fell over me."