Thursday, February 02, 2012

Egypt Soccer Riot

Egypt Soccer Riot - A Wednesday game of soccer in Port Said, Egypt resulted in a riot between two rival team fan groups. At the time, another game beginning in Cairo was halted after fans started an in-stadium fire. Surprised? Of course not! Violence and soccer games go together like grass and cleats. This riot proved to be different than what we expect, however, with a body count that continues to grow throughout the day. The Feb. 1 game was between the Al-Ahly team and Al-Masry team. Al-Masry, the home team, won 3-1. The gates separating the team and fans were either open or broken, allowing a flood of people onto the field just after the final whistle. The riot began and quickly escalated. The majority of the fighting occurred in the Port Said stadium. Injuries range from concussions to lacerations. Several armed robberies and fires were also reported. As of 3 p.m. on Feb. 1, the body count was up to 73 dead and 180 injured in the massive brawl. Security officers are said to be among the death count. Some players were injured and a manager was badly beaten. Victims were spread out between four hospitals. The cause of some deaths has been confirmed as stab wounds. Head wounds, suffocation, and concussions have also been reported causes of death by health officials. Rocks, sticks, bottles, and fireworks also caused some of the injuries as fans hurled them at one another and the field. Security was available during the game. As this CNN news clip shows, they are outfitted in full riot gear and seem to be in decent numbers. Although violence was anticipated during this game it was not expected to reach this scale. What exactly caused it to reach this depth has not yet been established. There have been reports of tension mounting before the game even began. Fans held signs insulting opposing team fans early in the game. These reports of tension come from fans in attendance, so it is not certain security was aware of what to anticipate. Egypt Soccer Riot

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