Date: 2nd February 2012 at 9:04am
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Seeing the news on Sky Sports brought back the memory of previous clashes with-in our own fair land.

Sky News said, ‘At least 74 people were killed and hundreds injured after fans invaded the pitch in the Egyptian seaside city of Port Said, following an upset victory by the home team over the country’s top club.’

‘The melee which followed an Egyptian league match between Al-Masry, the home team in the Mediterranean city, and Al-Ahly, based in Cairo and one of Egypt’s most popular teams, was the worst case of football violence in the country and the deadliest worldwide since 1996.’

One player said it was ‘like a war.’

The home sides win ended and then the trouble started. it was reported that rocks, bottles, flares and even fireworks were thrown after the top team in Egypt had lost.

With the riot police doing too little the violence flared and spread to the streets. So bad was the situation that the troops were called to try to restore order, resulting in many arrests.

Khalil Fahmy, Sky News Arabia correspondent, said police had been heavily criticised for doing nothing to intervene at the ground.

He said: ‘Many people were crying for help, for police or army intervention. They spent almost an hour without any army or police protection – this resulted in the bad injuries of hundreds of people.

The Egyptian FA immediately said that football in the country was suspended for an indefinite period after the which represented a tragic shock to the centre of sport in general and the football family in particular.

The Authority also announced three days of mourning or the souls of those who have fallen victim to the violence that occurred in the wake of the Al Masry-Al-Ahly match.

As fans across the world shudder at the scenes that were and are being broadcast it is a reminder that maybe we sometimes forget how much is at stake with the huge amounts of money thrown at the game. Luckily for those of us in this country our security is much more hands on and visible.

It sounds lame under the circumstances, but all we can do is offer our condolences to families and friends of the deceased and injured, as well as to those who were there and are in a state of shock. Many maybe to never go to another match.

 

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