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28 years ago today


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Was there any commemoration of this last night? After being hushed up for years, they eventually built a monument to the victims outside the ground.

Officially 66 people died in a crush at the end of the Spartak- Haarlem game. The Dutch were quickly removed from the stadium and knew nothing about it, and the Soviets totally covered it up, destroying all the documents. Russian journalists reckon as many as 350 may have died, but a victim's father, who worked fr the KGB, reckoned it was probably around 100.

Only 15 000 were at the game, and the crush seems to have been caused by a combination of snow and ice on the steps, someone slipping, the police aggressively herding fans and only one narrow exit being open to relieve the crush. A late winner by Spartak might have added to the crush (shades of Ibrox), but one survivor says he was already being trampled underfoot at the time the goal was scored.

I've just watched a Dutch film on it on ESPN classic. It was made in 2007 and is called the Hidden Moscow Staium disaster. Grim stuff.



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Well, this is awkward!

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