El Salvador FA ends season after fatal stampede

Leagues

The domestic league season in El Salvador has ended prematurely with no champion declared following Saturday’s tragic events at the Cuscatlan stadium.

At least 12 people died and more than 90 were injured following a stampede that broke out ahead of Saturday’s quarterfinal return leg between hosts Alianza FC and FAS in San Salvador.

The game was called off before kickoff.

The national police have opened an investigation including looking at the overselling of tickets as well as the excessive sale of alcohol outside the stadium.

In a joint statement, the El Salvador FA (FESTFUT) and the league (Liga Primera Division), described Saturday’s events as “deplorable” and “never to be repeated.”

“As the governing body of Salvadoran soccer, FESFUT, and the organiser of the El Salvador National Championship, Liga Primera Division, we have determined to end the 2022-2023 El Salvador National Championship,” a statement from the FESTFUT said.

“Our priority will be to ensure that security measures are strengthened at football events.”

The statement added that both entities are receiving international advice from FIFA and Concacaf.

Subject to Concacaf’s approval and based on last season’s results, clubs CD FAS, Jocoro FC and CD Aguila will qualify for international competitions.

Alianza FC said in a statement that it was “devastated” by Saturday’s tragic events and would cooperate with authorities in the investigation while also ensuring it would never happen again.

The association of top-flight football players in El Salvador (ASOFUTPROES) issued a statement against the decision taken by FESFUT, saying it would hold an urgent meeting to discuss the situation.

While regretting the death of the fans and wishing those injured a speedy recovery, the players said that the decision was taken without them being consulted and that they are “affected by the decisions taken.”

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