This Day in History: 2023-01-31

Nr. 394


Most reports of the National Stadium disaster in Lima during a Peru versus Argentina Olympic qualifying match on 24 May 1964 are brief – 318 people killed and more than 500 injured when outraged fans rioted after the referee disallowed a Peruvian goal two minutes from time. One eyewitness, though, said that while the decision was unpopular, fans didn’t riot. Instead the mayhem was caused when the crowd stampeded for exits to get away from teargas fued into the stands by panicky police. However, as it was a game everyone wanted to see guards had locked the gates and joined the crowds to watch, so the fleeing fans were tragically trapped.
Several Peruvian army soldiers stand guard outside the National Stadium in Lima, the scene of the 1964 tragedy.