At least 74 dead following Egyptian football violence

On Wednesday night two Egyptian football clubs and fierce rivals, al-Masry and al-Ahly played in Port Said. According to witnesses, the atmosphere had been tense following an al-Ahly fan raising an insulting banner in the direction of the home team (al-Masry). Al-Masry were, surprisingly, winning the game 3-1 when clashes first broke out. By the full-time whistle, the skirmishes had turned into full-blooded violence as fans ran onto the pitch attacking other fans and players.

At the time of writing the death the toll stood at 74 with security staff being among the fatalities. Concussions, deep cuts to the heads and suffocations from stampedes were outlined as the main causes.

Violence within Egyptian football is notorious and in particular fans of al-Ahly are known as Ultras. It is believed that the Ultras confronted police during the recent political upheaval in Egypt. There is also speculation that the security forces may have had an interest in taking on al-Ahly supporters.

It is evident that some fans carried knives into the stadium, probably as a result of lower level security and police presence at football matches since Hosni Mubarak was ousted from the presidency.

Al-Ahly player Mohamed Abo Treika said to reporters, “This is not football. This is a war and people are dying in front of us.”

In Cairo, another match was abandoned by the referee following reports of the Port Said violence. This prompted fans to set parts of the stadium on fire.

All top-tier matches have been postponed and the newly elected Egyptian parliament is to hold an emergency session on Thursday.

Sepp Blatter (FIFA President) released a statement, “This is a black day for football. Such a catastrophic situation is unimaginable and should not happen.”


Categories: Football

1 reply »

  1. hey

    clearly this was a really horrible event. whish is a dark day in history since unfortunately we are forced again to talk about people as numbers since so many died. but every one of them had a name and a family and people who loved them… and now miss them.

    hopes and aspirations.. dreams …

    children … sisters… brothers and parents. how awful it must be for them. to feel that their child was murdered over something like sport… or anything for that matter. i tried to think back for any cause whatsoever. i can only think of a few and some people may disagree with me. but for me it would be defending my values and whats right.

    The reality is that their children didnt die over a game of football, because the horrible face of politics, greed and power have show their face on another front… sport.

    On the 24th of Jan SCAF (military power in Egypt) took of emergency law in egypt after it had been in effect since 1967. as a way of showing they have achieved something since revolution started a year ago. In the following days two banks were robbed chicago gangster style and this aweful unpresedented incident took place in the football game between ahly and masry. Instantly the emergency law was placed again and all has returned back to where we were.

    The reality is that there are some horrible games being played and the stage of this play happedned to be football.

    There is a lot of talk of thugs being sent to make it all happen and many accounts… from the supporters of al masry that there were many men standing amongst the supporters who were unknown to them. this was repeated by many of the fans base of Ultras (the group name for the association of fans of al masry)

    the reality is that the difference between ahly and masry… is the same as man united and stoke. the expectation was for ahly to win comfortably. since the opposite happened … this whole story doesnt make sense. why would you start murdering people rather than celebrating????

    or is this just the natural turbulence of such a massive move in politics and country structure???

    or was this just hoolagins who have no future and no hope and that makes them more ruthles?

    I guess only time will tell…… but i would say it definitely wasnt football.

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