Egypt erupts in anger after football violence kills 74

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 03, 2012 03:29 hrs

Cairo: Egypt's worst soccer violence claimed at least 74 lives in the northern city of Port Said, plunging the nation into rage and prompting protests and clashes with police in the capital.

The unprecedented violence occurred last evening following a soccer match between top-tier clubs al-Masry and al-Ahly as fans invaded the ground after Port Said club al- Masry won 3-1.

The fans chased the players and fans of the al-Ahly club and engaged in pitched battles following the match leaving at least 74 dead and 250 injured.

Three days of national mourning was declared in Egypt and all premier-league matches were postponed indefinitely, even as a number of heads rolled following the shocking incident.

In an emergency parliamentary session, Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzouri dissolved the Egyptian Soccer Federation's board and referred its members for questioning by prosecutors.

El-Ganzouri also says the governor of Port Said province and the area's police chief have resigned.

But the nation erupted in anger over the incident as witnesses said that riot police stood by as supporters of home team went berserk.

Clashes erupted in the Egyptian capital between police and protesters, who attempted to march on to the Interior Ministry, furious at the lack of police intervention in the violence.

Hundreds of Egyptians, including soccer fans, marched from the Al-Ahly club headquarters towards the interior ministry via Tahrir Square, chanting slogans like: "This was not a sports accident, this was a military massacre!"

As protesters in Cairo chanted, "Down with military rule," the secretary-general of the Muslim Brotherhood too blamed the military for the deaths.

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