Egypt riots: prime minister sacks Egypt FA board as Fifa demand probe into tragedy
Published 02/02/2012 | 10:04
EGYPT’S prime minister has dissolved the Egyptian Football Association's board and referred its members for questioning by prosecutors after post-match clashes that left 74 dead.
Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzouri announced the decision during Thursday's emergency parliamentary session, a day after a match between Al-Ahly and Al-Masry soccer teams in the Mediterranean city of Port Said turned deadly.
El-Ganzouri also says the governor of Port Said province and the area's police chief have resigned.
Witnesses had said that riot police stood by as supporters of home team Al-Masry rushed the field after their 3-1 win over Al-Ahly.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, Fifa has demanded a full report into the violence amid claims that security forces and police did not do enough to intervene.
Fifa, the game's world governing body, today asked the Egyptian authorities to explain exactly what happened.
"Fifa has asked the Egyptian authorities for a full report on the incidents in order to evaluate what happened."
In a letter to Egyptian FA president Samir Zaher, the world governing body's president Blatter offered support and said: "Today is a black day for football and we must take steps to ensure that such a catastrophe never happens again.
"Football is a force for good and we must not allow it to be abused by those who mean evil. I await further news from you concerning the circumstances of this tragedy."
Home fans reportedly armed with sticks and knives stormed the field after the final whistle.
Reports suggest some Al-Ahly fans suffocated, trapped in a narrow corridor as they fled the violence.
Al-Ahly's Portuguese coach Manuel Jose has returned to Portugal to ponder his future after being attacked, while his assistant coach Pedro Barny backed up the claims that security staff did too little.
Jose said: "I was beaten with fists and kicks to the neck, head and feet. I saw our fans die before us and we are unable to do anything."
Assistant coach Barny added: "What happened was an unspeakable catastrophe.
"From the beginning of the game, the fans of the opposing team's fans were allowed to fire rockets and stones at us without any intervention.
"In the end, it turned into a state of madness without any role for the security in the stands.
"We tried to save the lives of some of the fans, but many died before our eyes."