About 25 fans were also injured when hundreds of fans tried to force their way in to watch the Honduran league championship game between Motagua and Honduras Progreso, officials say.

Two people died at the stadium as the game was getting under way, and two later at the hospital. (May 28, 2017)
Two people died at the stadium as the game was getting under way, and two later at the hospital. (May 28, 2017)

A stampede left at least four people and a foetus dead at an overcrowded Honduran stadium hosting a championship football match on Sunday, police said.

Hundreds of fans hoping to see the sold-out match tried to force their way into the 35,000-seat National Stadium in the capital Tegucigalpa, said hospital spokesman Miguel Osorio.

The victims died from suffocation and multiple broken bones from being trampled, Osorio said. The foetus died when its mother suffered severe injuries.

Two people died at the stadium as the game was getting under way, and two later in hospital, Osorio said.

Twenty-five fans were also injured according to Captain Oscar Triminio of the Honduran firefighter corps.

Motagua won the game 3-0 but said it
Motagua won the game 3-0 but said it "deeply regretted" the painful loss of lives during the event.

Pre-game melee

The incident happened ahead of the Honduran league championship game between Motagua and Honduras Progreso.

The stadium was packed beyond its seating capacity because too many tickets were sold for the season-ending game, police spokesman Luis Barahona said.

About 600 police officers were guarding the stadium and used water cannon and tear gas trying to push back the crowds.

Motagua won the game 3-0, but club president Eduardo Atala tweeted afterward that "there is nothing to celebrate with what happened outside the stadium."

Motagua said it "deeply regretted" the painful loss of lives during the event.

Honduras Progreso said that their team was "doubly hurt" by the defeat and the death of fans.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies