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Sporting events that went all wrong


Sports is commonly thought of as a kind of “peaceful substitute for war.” Yet sometimes violence has a way of rearing its head, and certainly not just on the field of play.

Many sport venues around the world have borne witness to some shocking and deadly events among spectators. So put on your riot gear and let’s have a look at some jubilant and angry fans going berserk.

Liverpool vs Juventus (Football)

During the European Cup Final in May 1985, football clubs Liverpool and Juventus played a match at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels which saw a wall collapse after fans charged through police towards each other.

Thirty nine attendees were pronounced dead and more than 360 were injured which prompted British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to ban all English football clubs from competing for two years in Europe.

India vs Sri Lanka  (Cricket)

Sri Lanka’s maiden entry into the World Cup final on March 13, 1996 was marred by crowd trouble at Eden Gardens in Calcutta (now Kolkata) after hosts India were sliding towards a huge defeat in the semi-finals.

India had collapsed to 120 for 8 from 98 for 2 after Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal in their chase of 252; and at this stage the spectators set fire to areas of the stands and pelted the fields with
water bottles and fruit. The riot turned so ugly that match referee Clive Lloyd had no other option but to award the match to Sri Lanka by default.

South Africa vs Zimbabwe (Football)

After South Africa scored a goal to go up 2-0 in the World Cup qualifier, fans became restless and police responded by launching tear gas into the crowds.
Rioting continued and herds of fans attempted to flee the soccer stadium in Harare, resulting in a stampede that killed approximately 13 people in the process.

Los Angeles Lakers vs Indiana Pacers (Basketball)

Led by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, the Lakers won their first NBA title in 12 years against the Pacers on June 19th, 2000, and the euphoria caused fans to set cars on fire and attack police with rocks and other blunt objects.

Only 12 people were injured but it was a sign of things to come for NBA fans in Los Angeles. 

Vancouver Canucks vs Boston Bruins (Ice Hockey)

June 15, 2011 marked the day Vancouver Canucks fans embarrassed their city and the National Hockey League. After falling in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals to the Boston Bruins, fans and residents started looting stores and setting jerseys and vehicles on fire.

A total of fifteen vehicles were torched and nearly 140 people were injured, counting stabbings, a beaten Bruins fan and a concussed police officer.


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