Feb 1, 2012

At least 73 fans killed as riots break out in Egypt following shock result

At least 73 football fans have been killed after violence broke out following a match in Port Said in Egypt.
Fans flooded the field seconds after Al-Masry enjoyed a rare 3-1 win against Al-Ahly, Egypt’s top team.


The deaths occurred as supporters invaded the pitch after a match between top-tier clubs Masry and al-Ahly on Wednesday.
It is feared the death toll could rise as at least 156 people have been hurt.
It is the biggest disaster in the country's football history, said the Egyptian deputy health minister.
"This is unfortunate and deeply saddening," Hesham Sheiha told state television.
Some of the dead were security officers, the Associated Press news agency quoted a morgue official as saying.

Police in Egypt have been keeping a much lower profile since last year's popular protests that ousted President Hosni Mubarak from power.
Egyptian fans are notoriously violent, says our correspondent, particularly supporters of al-Ahly known as the Ultras.
They have been heavily implicated in confronting the police during political recent political protests, our correspondent adds. There is speculation that the security forces may have had an interest in taking on al-Ahly supporters.

Safety first: Al-Ahly players flee the pitch

Soon after the violence, a game at the Cairo Stadium between Al-Ismailiya and Zamalek teams was called off as a mark of respect.
But state TV then showed video of sections of the stadium on fire. The announcer said fans of Zamalek were protesting the cancellation and set some sections of the stadium alight.