News24

Soccer riots in Egypt spread

2012-02-01 22:04

Cairo - The Cairo Stadium was set on fire on Wednesday night as disgruntled fans protested against a soccer match being cancelled after at least 40 people died when fans clashed Port Said.

The fans flooded the field seconds after a match against a rival team was over, Egypt's health ministry said.

It was one of the worst incidents of sports violence in Egypt in decades.

A security official and a medic said fans of the home team, Al-Masry, swarmed the field after a rare 3-1 win against Al-Ahly, Egypt's top team.

They threw stones, fireworks, and bottles at the fans and injured some players.

A medic at a mortuary in Port Said, a city on the Mediterranean coast, said some of the dead were security officers. He was speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

The ministry's statement about 40 dead was carried on state TV.

The players were later taken to the locker room for protection, Sayed Hamdi, a player told state TV.

Soon after the violence, a soccer game in the Cairo Stadium between the Al-Ismailiya and Zamalek teams was called off in mourning for the violence in Port Said.

State TV showed video of sections of the Cairo Stadium on fire.

The announcer said angry fans of the Zamalek protested the cancellation and set some sections of the stadium on fire.