Egypt postpones all soccer matches following Cairo deaths

Mon Feb 9, 2015 5:18pm EST
 
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By Osama Khairy

Cairo (Reuters) - All soccer in Egypt was postponed indefinitely on Monday after at least 19 people were killed following clashes between fans and police outside a stadium in Cairo on Sunday.

A Health Ministry spokesman told Reuters by phone the final toll was 19 dead, but the public prosecutor's office said there were 22 fatalities while Zamalek supporters group, the Ultras White Knights, said on their Facebook page they have "28 martyrs till now".

Whatever the exact tally, there will no soccer in any of Egypt's top three divisions or at minor level following the latest outbreak of soccer-related violence in the country.

The deaths occurred when fans were crushed in a stampede after police fired tear gas at Zamalek supporters attempting to get into the stadium for the match against city rivals ENPPI.

The game went ahead and ended in a 1-1 draw.

"The Egyptian FA has decided to stop all soccer activities at all league levels to mourn the victims of the unfortunate events which happened at the Zamalek-ENPPI match," the Egyptian FA said in a statement on its website (www.efa.com).

As a result of the tragedy, Zamalek postponed a news conference scheduled for Monday when they were going to present their new Portuguese coach Jesualdo Ferreira.

The 68-year-old, who has coached Benfica, Porto and Sporting Lisbon among other clubs, was due to take over from caretaker Mohamed Salah following the departure of former Portugal international Jaime Pacheco last month.   Continued...

 
A soccer fan is seen near a police car, which was set on fire by fireworks, during clashes between soccer fans and security forces in front of a stadium on the outskirts of Cairo February 8, 2015.  REUTERS/Al Youm Al Saabi Newspaper