Wednesday 17 January 2018

Seven injured in Beckham stampede

David Beckham is in China on a seven-day promotional tour for the Chinese Super League (AP)
David Beckham is in China on a seven-day promotional tour for the Chinese Super League (AP)
An injured policewoman is carrried to safety after a stampede by fans of David Beckham at a university in Shanghai (AP)
The crowd reacts during a stampede by fans of David Beckham at a university in Shanghai (AP)
David Beckham answers questions during a news conference in Shanghai (AP/Xinhua)

Fans eager to see David Beckham stormed a police cordon in a stampede at a Shanghai university that injured seven people including five security personnel.

Three police officers, two university security guards and two students - including a Japanese student - were injured, Shanghai police said.

Nearly 1,000 fans had gathered at a stadium in Shanghai Tongji University, where the newly retired football superstar was to meet members of the university team.

When he arrived, fans stormed through a gate and broke through a line formed by police and guards, according to the state-run news site Xinmin Net.

Photos and video footage show people pushed onto the ground, shoes scattered and a uniformed woman being carried away - her face covered in blood.

"Too crazy," said Chu Dan, a Tongji University football player who was hoping to have "some interaction on the pitch" with Beckham. "But we didn't expect so many people showing up here - too many fans of Beckham."

The event was cancelled, and Shanghai police said they were investigating the incident.

A post on Beckham's microblog on the popular Chinese-language platform Sina Weibo wishes the injured speedy recoveries and expresses regret for the cancellation. "It was impossible to get through the massive crowds," it reads.

Beckham is in China this week on a seven-day promotional tour for the Chinese Super League, China's top league. He has been hired as an "image ambassador" to promote the sport.

www.davidbeckham.com (David Beckham official website)

Press Association

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