Radebe reveals sadness over stadium tragedy

Bafana Bafana and Leeds United skipper Lucas Radebe has revealed his sadness after 43 football fans were killed in a stampede at Ellis Park, Johannesburg.

The game – between Radebe’s former club Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates – was a 68,000 sell-out. Hundreds of others supporters with tickets were reportedly locked out and when they tried to get into an already full stadium, the tragedy unfolded.

Lucas told BBC’s Radio Five Live: “When people lose lives like that at a football game it is really, really sad. What happened was absolutely a disaster for all the families of all those people who died – a tragedy. I spoke to a couple of players and they could not believe what was happening.”

“When Chiefs play Pirates, there is more than 100,000 people who want to come to watch the games,” said Radebe.

“Football has grown since we were re-admitted to international football, and when games like this come up everybody wants to go. Everything has to be perfect. Things like this have been avoided at all costs.”

Radebe insists safety will improve at South African stadia as a result of the Ellis Park tragedy.

“Things like this do happen and you do learn from them, especially in a country which always tries to get better. Things will improve,” he said.

“This highlights some of the problems and hopefully things like this will never happen now. It is when these things happen that you must ask the questions.”