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El Salvador soccer club whose supporters set off deadly stampede will play without fans for a year

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — The El Salvador soccer club whose fans pushed down an entrance gate setting off a stampede that left 12 people dead last weekend will play without supporters in its stadium for a year, the country's soccer federation said.

Club Alianza also will have to pay a $30,000 fine, the Salvadoran Soccer Federation’s Disciplinary Committee decided late Monday night.

Authorities said hundreds of fans were enraged when they weren’t allowed to enter the stadium despite having tickets. They pushed until they knocked down an entrance gate, and people were crushed and suffocated under the pressure.

The game was still in the first period Saturday night when players on the field began looking toward the stands. Unconscious fans were being carried out of an entrance tunnel and onto the field where others tried frantically to revive them.

Investigators are trying to determine why the gate was closed when hundreds of ticketholding fans remained outside. The section where the stampede occurred had been designated exclusively for fans of Alianza.

Attorney General Rodolfo Delgado said homicide charges could be on the table as they try to determine blame.