A stampede outside a stadium in the southern Iraqi city of Basra has killed at least two people and injured dozens, hours before the kickoff of the Arabian Gulf Cup final.

The incident on Thursday happened as thousands of spectators gathered to attend the match between Iraq and Oman, due to start at 7pm (16:00 GMT) at Basra International Stadium.

Iraq’s interior ministry, in a statement, urged people who do not have tickets for the final to leave the stadium area. It said the venue was full and all gates have been closed.

Iraq’s new Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani urged people to help authorities “show the final match of [the] 25th edition of the Gulf Cup in its most beautiful form”.

State media reported that giant screens were placed at different public places in Basra so that people could watch the match.