Soccer riot: Egyptians demand justice
16 February 2012, 16:09
Egypt - Angry Egyptian soccer fans protested at the general prosecutor's
office on Wednesday in Cairo, demanding that authorities bring to court
those responsible for soccer violence that left 74 people dead.
and activists said they would take matters into their own hands unless
justice was done, putting more pressure on ruling generals already
facing public criticism for mismanaging the transition to democracy in
the wake of the uprising that began a year ago.
"With our souls and blood, we will protect you martyrs," chanted a crowd of several thousand. "Down, down military rule."
broke out on Februar 02 at the end of a match between the al-Masry team
in the coastal city of Port Said and Cairo's visiting Al Ahly team, the
most successful in Africa.
Witnesses said hundreds of al-Masry
supporters surged across the pitch to the visitors' end, causing
panicking Ahly fans to dash for the exit. Steel doors were bolted shut
and dozens were crushed to death in the stampede.
Many of the
victims were Al-Ahly's hardcore "ultra" fans, who regularly confront
riot police at matches and have been at the front lines of protests that
toppled former president Hosni Mubarak from power on February 11 last
Some critics of army rule suggested the violence was
planned to create chaos and push people to support an extension of army
A parliamentary inquiry found fans and lax security to
blame, saying that instigators had used thugs and hardcore soccer fans
to take "advantage of the tension surrounding the game to achieve some
"The report is still a preliminary one. Popular
determination will force the final report to be very precise," said MP
and member of the inquiry team Mohamed Abu Hamed.
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