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Moment of madness at Kasarani that almost turned tragic – VIDEO and PHOTOS

A moment of sheer madness almost turned tragic for Harambee Stars fans who showed up at Kasarani last Sunday for 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification match between Kenya and Ethiopia.

With gates charges waivered thousands of fans started streaming into the match venues long before the 4pm kick off.

One hour to the match, the 60,000 stadium was already filled to capacity with many fans still trying to get through the gates.

Some 10, 000 fans who were locked outside the stadium then charged forward demanding entry.

It was a nightmare for the police officers and security personnel manning the gates as the swelling crowd surged forward in an attempt to forcefully gain entry into stadium through gate D.

The police responded by lobbying teargas canisters at the crowd, but the fans broke up into smaller groups that engaged the police in running battles.

Kenyan football fans squeeze themselves under a barbed wire fence to access the Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani for the match against Ethiopia on October 15, 2018. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO
Kenyan football fans squeeze themselves under a barbed wire fence to access the Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani for the match against Ethiopia on October 15, 2018. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO

Some of them jumped over the barbed wire fence while others cut through the fence to gain access into the grounds.

When the teargas canisters ran out, the police started shooting into the air in a desperate effort to disperse the crowd.

It got worse for the police who were also tasked with clearing the Thika Superhighway ahead of the arrival of Deputy President William Ruto.

Harambee fans celebrate at Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani during Kenya's match against Ethiopia in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.  PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO
Harambee fans celebrate at Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani during Kenya’s match against Ethiopia in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.  PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO

A top football betting company had set up a huge screen on the ground adjacent to stadium to give fans a chance to watch the much anticipated game outside the stadium but the chaotic scenes meant the grounds remained empty.

It’s still hard to explain how the chaos didn’t result into a stampede of serious proportions.