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FIFA boss Blatter offers Egypt support, mourns Zamalek victims

FIFA ready to provide EFA with any support needed in dealing with the event’s aftermath, he says

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Monday 9 Feb 2015
Sepp Blatter
FIFA President Sepp Blatter reacts before the Asian Cup final soccer match between South Korea and Australia at the Stadium Australia in Sydney January 31, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)
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FIFA President Sepp Blatter has expressed his deepest condolences to the Egyptian football community, after at least 19 football fans died trying to get in to a Cairo football stadium on Sunday.

Earlier on Monday, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) announced three days of mourning and a stop to all football activities around the country.

According to the official website of the world's football governing body, Blatter has sent a letter of condolence to EFA president Gamal Alam.

"I would like to express my deepest condolences to the Egyptian football community for the tragic events that occurred at last night’s match in Cairo between Zamalek and ENPPI," Blatter wrote.

"My thoughts and sympathies are with the families of all those who lost their lives yesterday evening. It is so sad that a game of football, which should be the scene of joy and positive emotions, should be overshadowed in this way.

"We await the results of the investigation into this tragedy and are ready to provide the Egyptian Football Association with any support they may need in dealing with the aftermath of this event."

According to the health ministry, 19 people died after clashes occurred between the police and Zamalek supporters before a league match with ENPPI.

Police claim that they died due to a stampede, while Zamalek fans, the Ultras White Knights, say the events were premeditated and blame new security procedures that included a “metal cage” through which fans were made to walk to reach the stadium’s entrance.

The young fans died asphyxiated and crushed after being teargassed, a medical source told Ahram Online on Monday. 

Investigations are still ongoing.

The match was open to the public, unlike most other games between Egyptian clubs, since stadium riots in Port Said in 2012 left 72 people dead in the country's worst-ever sport disaster.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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