25 Unforgettable Sport Disasters

Throughout history, people have seen and heard of several disasters involving sports. While sports enthusiasts primarily go to stadiums to witness sporting events and cheer for their favorite athletes, sometimes, such events end up being substitutes for chaos either among fans, teams or the athletes themselves. Accidents, disasters and deaths involving sports prove to be common especially these days, when it is so easy to become fervently hooked to different sporting events because of the unwarranted hype given to them by the media. Here is a list of 25 unforgettable sport disasters in history.

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25

The End of Michael Watson’s Career

The End of Michael Watson’s Career

A retired British boxer, Michael Watson had his career end prematurely after he lost his fight against Chris Eubank for the super middleweight title. He lasted until the 12th round of the game, but after getting a series of blows from Eubank, he collapsed in the ring. After 30 minutes, he still could not stand up. He was in a coma for 40 days and underwent six brain operations.

24

The Death of Ayrton Senna

The Death of Ayrton Senna

On May 1, 1994, Ayrton Senna, three-time Formula One World Champion, got killed after his car crashed into a concrete barrier during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix in Italy. He was actually in the lead when he crashed and he is still considered one of the best drivers in the sport.

23

The Death of Hansie Cronje

The Death of Hansie Cronje

On June 1, 2001, Hansie Cronje, a famous South African cricketer, was flying home but as the aircraft approached the airport, the pilots lost visibility and the plane crashed into the mountains. There are theories that Cronje was murdered upon the orders of a cricket betting syndicate because of his involvement in match fixing.

22

Cameroon Disaster

Cameroon Disaster

On October 31, 1976, two bystanders got killed as a fight broke out between the teams of Cameroon and Congo in a World Cup qualifying match. After Cameroon was awarded with a penalty kick, the Congolese goalie attacked the referee, spurring a riot on the field.

21

Hendrick Motorsports Tragedy

Hendrick Motorsports Tragedy

Around ten athletes associated with Hendrick Motorsports were killed in a plane crash that took place on October 24, 2004 after it was caught in a heavy fog and crashed into Bull Mountain in Stuart, Virginia. Six of those who died were Hendrick family members and employees, while the rest were pilots and directors of the DuPont Motorsports Program.

20

The Munich Olympics 1972 Massacre

The Munich Olympics 1972 Massacre

During the 1972 Munich Olympics held in Munich, West Germany, 11 members of the Israeli Olympic Team were taken hostage and killed by a Palestinian Group known as Black September. Along with the killed athletes was a German police officer. Black September demanded the release of 234 prisoners held in Israeli jails following the massacre.

19

Alianza Lima 1987 Air Tragedy

Alianza Lima 1987 Air Tragedy

On December 7, 1987, Peruvian First Division Football Club Alianza made a trip to Pucallpa for the football league. It won the match 2-0 against Deportivo Pucallpa. As the team took a charter flight back the day after, the Peruvian Navy airplane they were on crashed, killing all the members of the team.

18

Armand Cesari Stadium Disaster

Armand Cesari Stadium Disaster

On May 5, 1992, around 18 were killed and thousands were injured as one of the terraces of the Armand Cesari Stadium in France collapsed. Structural problems and improper construction claimed were responsible for the disaster.

17

1902 Ibrox Disaster

1902 Ibrox Disaster

On April 5, 1902 during the British Home Championship between the teams of Scotland and England at Ibrox Park in Glasgow, Scotland, 517 supporters were injured and 25 were killed after the back of the newly built West Tribune Stand collapsed because of heavy rainfall.

16

Gabon Air Disaster

Gabon Air Disaster

On April 27, 1993, all 30 members of the Zambia National Football Team got killed as the plane that was carrying them to Senegal crashed. The team was about to play in the 1994 World Cup Qualification Match.

15

Burnden Park Disaster

Burnden Park Disaster

Occurring on March 9, 1946, the Burnden Park Disaster is considered the deadliest stadium-related disaster in the history of Great Britain. The crowd that that day was in excess of 85,000 fans, causing a stampede that killed 33 and injured hundreds .

14

Heysel Stadium Disaster

Heysel Stadium Disaster

The Heysel Stadium Disaster happened on May 29, 1985 at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Belgium before the opening of the 1985 European Cup Final between Liverpool and Juventus. The disaster was the consequence of a wild riot between Liverpool fans and Juventus fans which caused the wall that separates their sections to collapse. This disaster killed 39 Juventus fans.

13

Oppenheimer Stadium Disaster

Oppenheimer Stadium Disaster

Known as the second worst sporting incident in South African history, the Oppenheimer Stadium Disaster happened on January 31, 1991 at the Oppenheimer Stadium in Orkney, South Africa. 30,000 fans were admitted when the stadium had a capacity of just 23,000. Moreover, fans were not separated based on team sections. After a ruling from a referee concerning a score from the Chiefs which led to an objection from the Pirate’s fans, an all out brawl ensued in the stands. This led to 42 deaths.

12

Ellis Park Stadium Stampede

Ellis Park Stadium Stampede

On April 11, 2001, fans attempted to push themselves into the Ellis Park Stadium but were trapped against a barbed wire. The league match between the Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates overcrowded the soccer stadium with fans, leading to the death of over 47 people.

11

Zamalek Disaster

Zamalek Disaster

During a supposedly friendly football match between Zamalek SC of Egypt and Dukla Prague of Czechoslovakia at the Zamalek Stadium, around 50 people got killed in a stampede after 80,000 people tried to cram into a 40,000 person stadium.

10

Bradford City Stadium Fire

Bradford City Stadium Fire

Considered the worst fire disaster in the history of English football, the Bradford City Stadium fire occurred on May 11, 1985 at the Valley Parade Stadium during a match against Lincoln City. During the game, a small fire was initially reported by the TV commentator but in less than four minutes, the strong winds caused it to engulf a large section of the stands. This fire killed 56 and injured at least 265.

9

Puerta 12 Tragedy

Puerta 12 Tragedy

After a match between the Buenos Aires rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate, a stampede at gate 12, or puerta 12, left 71 fans killed and 150 injured. Considered the worst football-related incident in the history of Argentinian football, the Puerta 12 Tragedy happened after a crowd of fans arrived at the Boca section and forced their way in.

8

Port Said Stadium Riot

Port Said Stadium Riot

The Port Said Stadium Riot is a massive riot that happened on February 1, 2012 at Port Said Stadium in Port Said, Egypt. After the Egyptian premier league football match between Al-Masry and Al-Ahly clubs, fans of Al-Masry started to attack the fans of Al-Ahly with knives, stones, bottles and other objects, causing the deaths of 79 people.

7

Estadio Mateo Flores Disaster

Estadio Mateo Flores Disaster

A few moments before the opening of the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification match between Guatemala and Costa Rica at the Estadio Mateo Flores on October 16, 1996, thousands of fans forced their way into the General Sur section of the stadium. The poor design of the stadium and the excessive number of fans who attempted to enter caused a human avalanche that killed 83 and injured 140 people.

6

Kathmandu Stadium Disaster

Kathmandu Stadium Disaster

Around 93 people were killed and 100 more were injured during the Kathmandu Stadium Disaster when fans attempted to flee from a hailstorm inside the national Dasarath Rangasala Stadium.

5

Hillsborough Disaster

Hillsborough Disaster

The Hillsborough Disaster took place on April 15, 1989 at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England. Overcrowding in the stadium caused fans to climb over side fences just to be able to witness the FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest football clubs. Because of the chaos, a crush barrier broke off and fans started to fall on top of each other, causing the deaths of 96 people.

4

Colourful 11 Tragedy

Colourful 11 Tragedy

On June 7, 1989, Suriname Airways Flight 764 was carrying a group of Surinamese/Dutch footballers from Amsterdam when it crashed approaching the Paramaribo Zanderiji Airport in Suriname. The Colourful 11 team as it was known was coming back from a friendly football match in Holland when most of their players were killed.

3

Pakhtakor Tashkent FC Tragedy

Pakhtakor Tashkent FC Tragedy

Sometime in August 1979, all members of the Uzbek professional football club Pakhtakor Tashkent FC and several others got killed in a mid-air collision over Dniprodzerzhynsk, Ukraine. The air disaster occurred as the team was heading back to the Soviet Top League. All 178 people aboard died in the accident.

2

Estadio Nacional Disaster

Estadio Nacional Disaster

More commonly known as the Lima football riot, the Estadio Nacional Disaster happened on May 24, 1964 during a playoff game between Peru and Argentina at the National Stadium. The chaos began following the annulment of a goal by Peru when Argentina was already winning one-zero. The fans were angered and the police started to fire tear gas to prevent them from going into the field. This eventually resulted in the death of around 318 people.

1

Luzhniki Disaster

Luzhniki Disaster

This disaster took place at the Grand Sports Arena of the Central Lenin Stadium in Russia on October 20, 1982, during the UEFA Cup second round match between FC Spartak Moscow and HFC Haarlem. According to reports, the stampede started after a young woman who had lost her shoe on the stairs stopped and tried to retrieve her shoe. The people behind her also stopped and tried to help her look for her shoe, but the dense crowd began to stumble over one another like dominos. Around 340 fans of the FC Spartak Moscow died in the stampede.



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