Egypt FA delays new season again

Egypt FA delays new season again

CAIRO - Agence France-Presse
Egypt FA delays new season again

Egypt is still reeling from the Port Said incident, where 70 people were killed after the final whistle of a match between Al-Ahly and Al-Masry.

Egypt’s football association has delayed the start of its season for a second time after security refused to authorise the commencement of games, the association said on its website yesterday.

The popular sport in Egypt is still reeling from a stadium riot in February that killed 70 people.

The association postponed the season, scheduled to start today after a one month delay, because “the necessary security authorisation is absent,” it said.

Fans of Cairo’s Al-Ahly club, whose members died in the violence, had stormed the association’s headquarters last month to protest a decision to resume the games.

The Ultras were furious after the association decided to begin the season before the end of the trial of suspects in the deadly violence. The February riot erupted at the final whistle when Al-Masry fans invaded the pitch after their team beat the visitors 3-1, throwing rocks, bottles and fireworks at Al-Ahly supporters, causing chaos and panic as players and fans fled in all directions.

The Port Said stadium deaths sparked days of violent protests in Cairo, in which another 16 people were killed.

The violence was one of the deadliest incidents in football history, and came amid charges from witnesses that security forces did little to prevent the rioting, prompting more deadly clashes in the days that followed.

Nine policemen are among defendants in the trial which opened in April.