At least 73 dead in football match riot


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The Independent Online

At least 73 people were killed and hundreds more injured when a football match ended in one of the worst sporting disasters in Egypt's history.

Catastrophic scenes broke out at a stadium in Port Said when the local team scored a rare victory over Al-Ahli, one of Egypt's glamour clubs.

At the final whistle, fans of Al-Masry Al-Ahli's players into their dressing room tunnel, while others threw stones and let off fireworks at the visiting supporters. One of Al-Ahli's players, Mohamed Abo Treika, rang the team's own television channel to describe the violence as it unfolded.

"This is not football. This is a war and people are dying in front of us. There is no movement and no security and no ambulances," he said. "This is horrible situation and today can never be forgotten."

As the clashes intensified, more members of the Al-Ahli squad called into the TV channel from their dressing room to describe the scene. "The security forces left us, they did not protect us. One fan has just died in the dressing room in front of me," said Mohamed Abou-Treika.

"People have died, we are seeing corpses now. There are no security forces or army personnel to protect us," added Mohamed Barakat.

Since the revolution there have been a number of flare-ups at football matches in Egypt, some of which attributed to the lack of police in the wake of last year's uprising.