Egypt soccer deaths - 75 to stand trial

2012-03-15 20:11

Cairo - Prosecutors ordered 75 people to stand trial for causing Egypt's worst soccer stadium disaster, including the head of security in Port Said city where lax policing was blamed for a stampede that killed 74 fans.

"The accused were sent to a criminal court on charges of committing the crime of intentional and premeditated murder," the general prosecutor's office said in a statement on Thursday.

The crush followed a pitch invasion when Port Said-based al-Masry beat Cairo's Al Ahli, the most successful club in Africa, on February 2.

Steel doors at the stadium were bolted shut, trapping fans trying to escape from the stands and dozens were crushed to death, witnesses said.

Many fans blamed the government for a failure to send enough police to the stadium given the tense build-up to the match, and many believe the violence was sparked by hired thugs. At least 1 000 people were injured.

Egyptian soccer fans known as "Ultras" took a front-line role in public protests that led to the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, and in subsequent protests against the army generals who took power when Mubarak fell.

Some ordinary Egyptians, media commentators and analysts said the Port Said violence was allowed to happen by the authorities as revenge against the Ultras.

A parliamentary enquiry blamed both fans and poor policing, and the Port Said head of security, Essam Samak, was fired.

State television said nine of the 75 people to stand trial were police officers. Two were minors who would be tried in a juvenile court.

The Port Said deaths sparked days of clashes between young men and riot police near the Interior Ministry in Cairo in which 16 more people were killed.

Hundreds of Ahli supporters gathered at the club's Cairo ground on Thursday to protest at what they regarded as official foot-dragging over the disaster. Some wore black T-shirts reading "We wont forget the 74".

Read more on:    egypt  |  north africa  |  soccer

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Trying to keep time for your social commitments and friendships as well as taking care of work and health obligations can be more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.