The Day 93 Football Fan Lost Their Lives at Dasharath Stadium
Today in history
29th Falgun 2044 (12th March 1988), the day 93 football fan lost their lives at Dasharath Stadium
The Dasharath Stadium with a capacity of 30,000 football fans was packed with football fans on 29th Falgun 2044 (12th March 1988). Janakpur Cigarette Factory and Bangladesh’s freedom fighter Tribhuvan were facing each other for the Challenge Shield title. Football fans from Butwal, Janakpur, Birgunj, and other places flocked to the National Stadium to watch the final match. A group of football fans were carrying tickets to enter the stadium from the south gate. Security personnel stationed at the gate and officials of the football association were checking the tickets and sending the spectators inside.
The Bangladesh team took the lead in the match which started at 2.30 pm. During the 19th minute of the game, the wind started blowing so hard that the branches of the big trees towards the army headquarters started falling on the stadium. In the auditorium, people started running to save their lives from the storm. The stadium entrance was locked and spectators were unable to leave in time, and at least 93 football fans were killed and many were injured.
About 5 minutes later, after the hurricane stopped, the Bengali player was taken to the hotel amidst police security cordon. Players of Janakpur Cigarette Factory reached the hotel at Bhotebahal. The All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) had announced that the match would be postponed. However, the game could not take place after that accident. Three days later, the Bangladeshi team also returned home.
On the fourth day of the incident, the then Minister of Education and Culture, Keshar Bahadur Bista, submitted his resignation to King Birendra, citing moral grounds. After the horrific incident, during the football match at Dasharath Stadium, the entrances were kept open from the second half so that the spectators could come out easily in the case of the situation similar to 2044.
The catastrophe that took place at Dasharath Stadium is considered to be the most unfortunate moment in the history of world sports. The incident at Dasharath Stadium is considered the fourth biggest incident in terms of human casualties in the accident.