Friday, March 16, 2012

Egypt Prosecutes 75 Over Football Disaster

Egypt prosecutes 75 over football disaster

AFP, Thursday 15 Mar 2012

75 people sent to criminal court in the shadow of Port Said violence

Egypt's prosecutor general on Thursday referred 75 people to criminal court in connection with football riots last month that left over 70 people dead.

The defendants include nine members of the police and three officials from the Masry football club. Two minors will be sent to a children's court, the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

On 1 February, clashes in the northern city of Port Said between fans of home team Masry and Cairo's Ahly, erupted at the final whistle of the match.

Masry fans invaded the pitch after their team beat the visitors 3-1, throwing rocks, bottles and fireworks at Ahly supporters, causing chaos and panic as players and fans fled in all directions.

The violence marked one of the deadliest incidents in football history, and came amid claims by witnesses the security forces did little to prevent the rioting.

The stadium deaths sparked days of violent protests in Cairo, in which another 16 people were killed.

Many believe the football riot was orchestrated either by the police or supporters of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, a reflection of distrust towards the ruling military, which took power after Mubarak's overthrow.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter: @AO Sports)

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