It was with great sadness that FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter learned of the death of 61 people in a stadium stampede in Abidjan, the capital of Côte d’Ivoire, on New Year’s Eve.

In a letter to Ivorian Football Association President Augustin Diallo, Blatter wrote: “On behalf of FIFA and in my own name I would like to extend my deepest condolences to you and the people of Côte d’Ivoire.” 

He added: “I would be grateful if you could let the families and friends of the victims and the Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara and his government know that they have the full sympathy and support of the international football family at this especially tragic time.”