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May 15, 2014

Congo stadium to host game again

CAIRO -- The Congo stadium where 15 people died in a stampede at a domestic football game will host a CAF Champions League match just a week after the disaster.

The Confederation of African Football said Tata Raphael Stadium in Kinshasa remains the venue for the continental club competition group game between AS Vita and Egyptian club Zamalek on Sunday.

CAF said the crowd would be limited to 5,000 people as a precaution. The Tata Raphael can hold up to 30,000.

At least 15 people were killed and 21 injured Sunday when police used tear gas on the crowd after it became unruly as AS Vita was hosting TP Mazembe on the last day of the Congolese league season, causing a stampede. CAF said a wall and a gate in the newly restored stadium collapsed in the crush.

The Cairo-based African football body asked Congolese authorities for a report on the tragedy, and the deaths prompted FIFA president Sepp Blatter to send a message of condolence. CAF said the Congolese Football Federation had inspected the stadium this week following the stampede.

Tata Raphael Stadium is most famous for staging the acclaimed 1974 boxing heavyweight title fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, known as "The Rumble in the Jungle." It was then called 20th of May Stadium, and Congo was known as Zaire.

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