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African Cup organizers change venues for 3 knockout games

African Cup of Nations organizers announced Wednesday that they were changing the venues for two quarterfinal games and one of the semifinals.

One of the quarterfinals scheduled for Sunday was moved from the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde across town to the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium after eight people were killed in a crush outside the Olembe during the round-of-16 game between host Cameroon and Comoros on Monday. A total of 38 others were injured and seven of them were in serious condition in the hospital.

The Confederation of African Football had already indicated it would move that game away from the Olembe.

Fans reacts after Cameroon's captain Vincent Aboubakar, scored his team's first goal, during the African Cup of Nations 2022 group A soccer match between Cape Verde and Cameron at the Olembe stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. (AP PhotoThemba Hadebe)

But CAF also said it was moving another quarterfinal and a semifinal from the Japoma Stadium in Douala to Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium.

It gave no reason for moving those two games but there have been complaints from teams over the state of the field in Douala.

CAF didn't announce a decision on the other semifinal, which is scheduled to take place at the Olembe Stadium. It said it would depend on the findings of an investigation into the deadly stampede, which has been blamed on security failings at the stadium. CAF said it needed to review that report before the semifinal could go ahead at the Olembe next Thursday. The Olembe's hosting of the African Cup final on Feb. 6 is also in doubt and will depend on the results of the investigation.

Soccer fans watch the African Cup of Nations 2022 group A soccer match between Cape Verde and Cameron at the Olembe stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. (AP PhotoThemba Hadebe)

CAF said it also requires “the assurance and guarantee that appropriate and adequate interventions and measures have been implemented to ensure that a similar incident will not occur at the Olembe Stadium.”

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Cameroon's head coach Toni Conceicao during the African Cup of Nations 2022 group A soccer match between Cape Verde and Cameron at the Olembe stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. (AP PhotoThemba Hadebe)

Cameroon fans before the start of the African Cup of Nations 2022 group A soccer match between Cape Verde and Cameron at the Olembe stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. (AP PhotoThemba Hadebe)

The newly built Olembé stadium in Yaoundé, Cameroon, Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022. The African Cup of Nations takes place in Cameroon and starts on Sunday, Jan. 9. (AP PhotoThemba Hadebe)