Skip to main content

Port Said security head sacked after 74 killed in post-match football violence


The Egyptian government sacked the head of security in the northern city of Port Said after at least 74 people were killed and hundreds more injured in clashes between rival fans following a football match in the city. 


Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim fired city security chief Essam Samak after the violence, one of the deadliest incidents in football's history, which saw hundreds of supporters of Port Said team Al-Masri invade the pitch to attack fans of Cairo's Al-Ahly.

The home team had beaten their Cairo rivals 3-1.

State television ran footage of riot police standing rigidly in rows as pandemonium erupted around them.

Dossier: Revolution in Egypt

Ibrahim has said most of the deaths were caused by the crush but medics said some people were stabbed. Hundreds were also reported wounded. Police said 47 people had been arrested.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest political force, accused supporters of ousted President Mubarak of instigating the football violence.

"The events in Port Said are planned and are a message from the remnants of the former regime," said MP Essam al-Erian in a statement on the Islamist group's Freedom and Justice Party website. "This tragedy is the result of negligence and the lack of army and police, and those running the country bear the responsibility."

Politicians, fans and players used social media to express their fury over the violence which marks a year of political upheaval and unrest after the uprising that unseated Mubarak.

"There are dead people lying on the ground! There are dead people in the changing room," Al-Ahly striker Emad Meteab told the team's satellite channel. "I won't play football anymore until these people get justice."

Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzuri is to hold an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss the events.

Meanwhile, a fire broke out at Cairo Stadium during the first half of a match between Zamalek and Ismaili clubs. The match was cancelled, but emergency services managed to control the blaze.

In September, Egyptian football fans clashed with police in a Cairo stadium, injuring nearly 80 people, as they chanted slogans against Mubarak and his interior minister.




Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning

Page not found

The content you requested does not exist or is not available anymore.