Little Bits of History

May 11

Posted in History by patriciahysell on May 11, 2017

2014: The Stade Tata Raphael disaster takes place. The stadium was built in 1951 and known as the Stade Roi Baudouin or the King Baudouin Stadium. The name changed in 1967 when it was known as the Stade du 20 Mai or the 20 May Stadium. In 1997, the name again changed to Father Raphael Stadium. The 50,000 seat arena was located in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was the venue used for The Rumble in the Jungle when Muhammad Ali and George Foreman met to battle for the Heavyweight Boxing Championship in 1974. Despite this and the concert held before the big fight, the stadium was mostly used for association football, or as Americans call it, soccer.

On this day a soccer match was held with two Congolese teams playing. TP Mazembe (aka Tout Puissant Maxembe) formerly called Englebert, was the team from Lubumbashi. The team was founded in 1939 as FC Saint-Georges. It was founded by Benedictine monks where the goal was to diversify student activities. They won the 2009 CAF Champions League and were qualified to play in the FIFA Club World Cup that year. They have been CAF Champions five times and played at the FIFA World Cup twice, making it to the final round in 2010. Their crest has a crocodile holding a soccer ball in its mouth, but they are known as Les corbeaux or the ravens. Mazembe is one of the most successful teams in Africa.

Playing as the home team was AS Vita Club. Their full name is Association Sportive Vita Club and that is often abbreviated as AS Vita Club or even AS V Club. The team was founded in 1935 and named Renaissance but the name was changed in 1939 into Diables Rouges, in 1942 into Victoria Club, and in 1971 to the name used today. They have made it to the African Cup of Champions Club playoffs eight times and taken the title in six of those appearances. They made three appearances in the CAF Conference Cup, twice at the CAF Cup, and six times at the CAF Cup Winners’ Cup. In 2014 they were the runners up in African Cup, losing to ES Setif, a team from Algeria.

Today’s match had the teams playing when suddenly missiles were thrown down onto the field. The referee made the call to delay the game. This made an angry crowd even angrier. Police made the decisions to fire tear gas into the stands. Some people were blinded by the gas, others simply panicked. A stampede ensued and in the crush to escape the gas, a stadium wall collapsed. This furthered the chaos as well as added even more debris to the area. At least 15 people died, other counts give 18 as the death toll. Suffocation was the cause of death for most of the victims. At least another 24 people were seriously injured.

Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit. – Henry Adams

There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success. – Phil Knight

In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you. – Deepak Chopra

Chaos is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence. – Buddha


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