Thursday, February 02, 2012

'At least 73' die in Egypt football clashes

Ugly clashes at a football match in Port Said have left at least 73 people dead and more than 1,000 injured, according to Egyptian state television. Al-Masry claimed a rare 3-1 victory at home to Al-Ahly but shocking scenes followed the final whistle, with hundreds of the winning team's fans pouring onto the field wielding sticks and stones. A security official claimed the supporters attacked players and opposition fans, cornering the travelling Al-Ahly faithful on the field and around the stadium and throwing stones and bottles at them. A medic at a morgue in Port Said said some of the dead were security officers, and that most of the deaths were caused by concussions, deep cuts to the heads and suffocation from the stampede.

Crowds are gathering in Cairo as tension rises after riots in the city of Port Said on Wednesday which left at least 74 people dead.

Manuel Jose, coach of Cairo club al-Ahly, has returned home to Portugal following the riots which erupted at the end of the game against al-Masry in Port Said on Wednesday. "I was beaten with fists and kicks to the neck, head and feet," said Jose. "I saw our fans die before us and we were unable to do anything."

Egypt's prime minister has dissolved the Egyptian Football Federation's board and referred its members for questioning by prosecutors after post-match clashes that left more than 70 of the club's fans dead.

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