Bloodshed in a football match leads to Emergency in 3 cities in Egypt
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Bloodshed in a football match leads to Emergency in 3 cities in Egypt

Cairo : Egypt | Jan 28, 2013 at 5:56 PM PST
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In view of the recent unrest regarding bloodshed in a football match on the field and on the streets of Egypt, President Mohammed Morsi of Egypt has declared a 30-day state of emergency in the three main cities of Port Said, Suez and Ismailiya as reported in telegraph.co.uk of dated 27th of January 2013.

Morsi has spoken on the state TV and the emergency measures includes curfew and military intervention and seems to bring back memories of the Hosni Mubarak era when Mubarak had kept the state of emergency alive throughout his rule of 30-years.

The current unrest is about the death sentence passed on to 21 persons who are believed to be football rioters.

In February-2012, they had killed 74 visiting fans from Cairo's Al-Ahly team – the visitors were attacked and killed after a match in Port Said.

Six persons had lost their lives in clashes in Port Said between mourners, protesters and the police at the funeral of the 31 persons who had been killed in gunfire and tear gas shelling in the earlier clashes against the death sentences.

The total number of deaths so far is 45 with another 1139 injured.

The background – it happened on 1st February 2012 when fans of the Al-Masry team of Port Said invaded the grounds to celebrate the home team's victory over rivals Al-Ahly club of Cairo.

It seems the security arrangements were inadequate and failed to maintain control.

As a result, 74 Al-Ahly persons were brutally massacred – one of the dead was a police officer.

The Cairo International Stadium which is shared by Al-Ahly and its rivals Zamalek was set on fire.

Incidentally, the Al-Ahly team had arrived at the venue in Port Said escorted by convoy of policemen – obviously, there were apprehensions of some sort of trouble.

The trouble apparently erupted after the home team won 3-1 and the fans of Al-Masry ran on to the field and chase the Al-Ahly players who ran away.

The crowd then targeted the visiting Al-Ahly fans and brutally massacred them.

Regrading the fire in the Cairo Stadium, it was said to be the result of a short-circuit but TV and video footage showed fireworks being set off from the stands after another match was called off.

The result of these riots was that the Negotiant Football Association called off the Premier League while Ittihad and Smouha, two clubs of Alexandria announced that they were withdrawing from the League and several players of the Al-Ahly team decided to stop playing altogether.

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prabirghose is based in Nāshik, Maharashtra, India, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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