Last Update 21:38
Tuesday, 20 November 2018

19 Zamalek fans killed in clashes with Egyptian police - Ministry of Health

The ministry also said that 20 were injured; victims reportedly died of suffocation and stampede as the police teargas fans attempting to enter stadium for football match

Hatem Maher , Monday 9 Feb 2015
Cage Entrance
Zamalek fans stand inside barbed wired cage waiting to enter football match minutes before bloody events unfolded (Photo: Facebook)
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Nineteen Zamalek fans were killed and 20 injured on Sunday evening as police attempted to disperse large crowds of fans who were making their way into a Cairo stadium to attend a football game in the Egyptian Premier league, health ministry spokesperson Hossam Abdel Ghaffar told Ahram Online.

This is the deadliest football-related incident since the infamous Port Said disaster three years ago.

The clashes reportedly started as police used tear gas to disperse members of the Ultras White Knights fan group in front of Cairo's Air Defence Stadium, a few hours before Zamalek played ENPPI in a top-of-the-table clash.

Earlier on Sunday night, medical sources had told the Ahram Arabic news website that the death toll exceeded 30.

However, prosecutors have put the number of those killed at 22.

The Ultras White Knights continue to say that 28 were killed in the clashes.

"They died of suffocation and stampede after being tear-gassed," a medical source at the Ahli Bank Hospital, which received 14 bodies, told Ahram Online. 

Egypt's cabinet has suspended the league competition for an indefinite period following the latest tragedy, saying in a statement that Zamalek's fans failed to adhere to the safety procedures required to enter the stadium.

An eye witness told Ahram Online that families of the deceased screamed hysterically in the Ahli Bank Hospital.

Fan group Ultras White Knights shared photos of bodies of the victims on its official Facebook page, some of whom wearing the team's jersey, as well as a full list of their names.

The Egyptian interior ministry said the clashes occurred after Ultras White Knights members tried to attend the game without buying tickets.

A league crowd ban that has been in place since the 2012 Port Said tragedy, which left over 70 Ahly fans dead, was partially lifted last week as authorities said they would gradually allow fans to return to the stands.

"The Zamalek fans tried to get in by force, and we had to prevent them from damaging public property," the ministry said in a statement.

Ultras White Knights disputed the ministry's account, saying they were tear-gassed as many fans scrambled to get in, with a "tiny metal fence surrounded by barbed wire being the only gate opened for us."

Only 10,000 supporters were allowed to attend the match against ENPPI, with 5,000 tickets up for public sale and as many distributed by the club itself.

Zamalek board member Ahmed Mansour, son of outspoken chairman Mortada Mansour, said on his Facebook page: "You do not understand anything. You are not allowed to get in by force. No one will be allowed to attend the match without tickets,"

"Football is only for respectable fans. No thugs are allowed here," he added.

Egypt's prosecution said the bodies of the victims were transferred to a Cairo morgue. State news agency MENA said at least 25 were injured.

Match goes ahead

The match went ahead despite the deadly clashes but Zamalek's full-back Omar Gaber, a favourite figure among the ultras, withdrew in support of the fans.

The latest incident is a bitter reminder of the absence of safety measures in Egyptian football. The Port Said tragedy, which happened when Ahly's supporters were attacked by the home Masry fans following the end of a league game, sent shockwaves across the country and prompted authorities to impose a lengthy crowd ban.

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) has repeatedly said new measures and procedures would be put in place to ensure fan safety but that did not materialise amid continued confrontations between hardcore fan groups, mainly those supporting Cairo teams Ahly and Zamalek, and security forces.

"Our blood is cheap ... Is this the regime you are trying to protect?" Ultras Ahlawy, whose members were killed in Port Said, said in a statement.

In January 2013, a court sentenced 21 Masry fans to death. Ahly fans generally welcomed the sentences but were angered that no police officers were convicted. More than 40 people were killed in protests after the verdict in Port Said.

In March 2013, an appeal court upheld the 21 death sentences, sentenced five people to life in jail and ordered jail sentences on the others, including 15 years for two police officers. Another 28 people were acquitted, including seven policemen.

However, almost one year later, a court ordered a retrial. The new trial is still ongoing.

League in limbo

There are doubts over whether the league competition will resume this season after it was postponed for an indefinite period.

Two of the last three editions were called off. The 2011-12 season was cancelled following the Port Said disaster and the following edition was also not completed following the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

"Some of crowd, who did not have tickets, attempted to break into the stadium after the gate was closed. They also refused to be searched by the security forces before attacking them and damaging public and private property," Egypt's government said in a statement.

"The cabinet regrets the incident and expresses its condolences to the families of the victims."

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9



Farhan
12-02-2015 11:56am
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@Allen, Stop using bot votes, this is really stupid
You are just showing your immaturity.
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8



Nael Magdi
09-02-2015 02:38pm
582-
6+
Just blame the MB...and escape responsibility
The thuggish regime is being exposed from all sides...The Saudis are abandoning him, the latest recordings have shown him as a thug, not a statesman.
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7



Fadi Abdul Ahad.Egyptian expatriate, Canada
09-02-2015 02:32pm
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Why is it "dispersing" occurs peacefully elsewhere except in Egypt?
Are your police humans or animals? Don't you teach them the value of human life. Now, you will justify the killing. you will claim the victims were Ikhwan infiltrators. But I want to tell you one thing: The days of the thug are numbered. We will drag him in the streets of Cairo like a sog.
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Amr Islam
10-02-2015 01:42pm
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I beg you
What Egypt badly lacks is a sense of respect for other humans. Treating him the way he and his forces treats the Egyptian people puts you in the same league and deprives Egypt of its future. We have to show these thugs that we will have mercy if they only join the line of humanity. So, I beg you not to do that.
6



lucky
09-02-2015 02:20pm
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This is sad...
Question.. is there more people that want to watch the game than can safely fit? Can maybe someone put a large screen outside stadium like a drive-in theator? Other countries have tail-gate parties. They sit on back of trucks.. cook food.. bring food and drinks. Not everyone has Tv. They just want to be near their team. Parking lots by stadium would be good. Vendors would like this too.
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5



Allen
09-02-2015 11:58am
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237+
Real sports fans have one thing in mind....To root for their team and have a good time.
Unfortunately in Egypt there are vile elements of the Muslim brotherhood terrorists that will exploit any crowd situation to creat bloodshed. This is what desperate people do. Just one more example why this terrorist organization is deemed illegal. Hope you clean out all remaining elements of this organization, and live in peace and enjoy prosperity.
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Ahmed Ali
10-02-2015 01:55pm
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@Allen: Try and fail
The matter of fact is that this policy would not work. Because hatred never works. You could, and maybe Sisi will, wipe out all the brotherhood only to learn that prosperity does not spring from killing fields. Egypt will propser once we Egyptians start paying respect to our fellow Egyptians no matter wealth or faith or gender or you name it. And that means, yes, to also respect the MB guys and deal with them in an orderly, political manner, ie in a way they hardly ever dealt with their opponents. Go on with your hatred and you will watch yourself losing your humanity.
4



frishibly
09-02-2015 06:52am
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no future
egypt has no future social and political....
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3



Egyptian #1
09-02-2015 05:04am
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THE POLICE DIDNT STEP ON THEM
THE POLICE WERE OUT NUMBERED AND REPORTS ARE THEY WERE BEING ATTACKED. HOW DID THOUSANDS OF FANS GET TO THE TAGAMU3? WHERE IS THIS NARROW PLACE? THE POLICE DID NOT WANT TO KILL THESE YOUNG MEN, IT WAS NOT THE INTENTION.... I dont like the use of tear gas either, but what other options are there when big groups of people are breaking the law and trying to trespass? I dont know if water cannons are enough. The police have to protect themselves also. If mobs dont break rules then tear gas isn't needed. I think the police only used tear gas because they were vastly out numbered and their lives were in danger. Most the police are Muslim and follow the same rules. We shouldn't generalize them in a bad way because they dedicated their lives to protecting people. Would you rather things go to how they were after Jan 25 2011 when kids and their dads had to stand guard with sticks and rocks with their neighbors because there was no police?
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2



Jack Van Gorder
09-02-2015 03:01am
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Over/Under
Darn. The over/under was 32 and I bet the over.
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1



Egyptian
09-02-2015 12:28am
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preplanned by the brotherhood maybe??
How many people were shot if any? Who paid for the buses to bring so many fans? How many police officers were there? Why were people posting on twitter three days earlier to stay away from this area on Sunday? What's wrong with watching the game on tv? THERE ARE RULES FOR A REASON!! IF THE RULES WERE FOLLOWED THESE KIDS COULD HAVE LIVED LONGER. There needs to be respect for police, who are there to protect us. They don't want to be our enemies, they are Egyptian, not enemies.
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Real Egyptian
09-02-2015 07:34am
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Egyptian Police
If someone claims that Egyptian Police is for proection of Egyptian and police respect the Egyptian, he must be an alien, from other planet not from the Egypt.Egyptians have eyes,ears and brains and they cannot shut their eyes,ears and brains to ignor the brutal acts,crimes and atrocities of the police against Egyptains for last many decads.
Farhan
09-02-2015 05:56am
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Done by terrorists who support Sisi
Basically they are no different from ISIS.
Egyptian
09-02-2015 02:48am
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The Police Killed Them
they were killed bey the egyption police who fired at about 2000 fan tear gass in a narrow place which cause them to escape and the fell over each other
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