Sport

Hundreds storm Egypt's football headquarters

Thursday, September 06, 2012    

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CAIRO, Egypt (AFP) — Hundreds of people stormed the headquarters of Egypt's Football Association yesterday to protest a decision to resume league games despite an ongoing trial over rioting and stadium deaths, witnesses and security sources said.

The protesters, mostly passionate fans of Cairo's Al-Ahly club known as 'Ultras', attacked the building with flares and other projectiles, witnesses said.

No one was hurt.

The Ultras were furious after the football association decided to resume league games before the trial ends.

More than 70 people were killed in Port Said in February, in the deadliest incident in Egypt's football history, after clashes in the Suez Canal city between fans of home side Al-Masry and those of Al-Ahly.

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

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

The violence was one of the deadliest incidents in football history, and came amid charges from witnesses that security forces did little to prevent the rioting, prompting more deadly clashes in the days that followed.

Nine policemen are among the defendants in the trial which opened in April.

Many believe the football riot was orchestrated either by the police or supporters of ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

The Ultras, who played a key role in the uprising last year that forced Mubarak to quit, had urged the football association to cancel all league games until the trial is over.

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