Egyptian Football Violence Kills 74, Injures 1,000 More
February 1, 2012
Riot police and football fans clash in Port Said, 220km northeast of Cairo. (Getty Images)
(WFI) At least 74 fans are dead and more than 1,000 injured following Egypt’s worst ever football disaster.
Wednesday’s riots in Port Said between rival groups of supporters also marked the most violent outbreaks yet since last February’s resignation of former president Hosni Mubarak.
According to Al Jazeera, spectators started flooding the field seconds after al-Masry, the home team, topped al-Ahly, one of Egypt’s most storied clubs, 3-1.
Police around the stadium were quickly overwhelmed, and officers stood by as fans fought each other with knives, stones and bottles.
A stampede also ensued as riot police rushed to get the players off the pitch safely.
"This is not football. This is a war and people are dying in front of us. There is no movement and no security and no ambulances," al-Ahly player Abo Treika told his team's TV channel. "This is a horrible situation and today can never be forgotten."
Egyptian deputy health minister Hesham Sheiha echoed his sense of severity.
"This is unfortunate and deeply saddening. It is the biggest disaster in Egypt's soccer history," he told state media, adding that most of the injuries were caused by concussion and deep cuts.
The Egyptian Football Association indefinitely delayed premier league matches following the violence, and Egypt's newly seated parliament will hold an emergency session Thursday to respond to the riots.
Post-match violence in Egypt last erupted in September when at least 130 were injured after a clash between fans and riot police as well as more famously following a 2009 FIFA qualifier that sent Algeria on to the South African World Cup. Angry spectators then stormed the streets around the Algerian embassy and set fire to cars, homes and businesses.
By INSIDER's Matthew Grayson
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