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Ahly suspend all sports activities after Port Said violence

Following football violence that left more than 70 dead in Port Said, Ahly indefinitely suspends all sports activity, announces plans to boycott canal city for 5 years

Eslam Omar, Thursday 2 Feb 2012
Egyptian fans rush into the field following Al-Ahly club soccer match against Al-Masry club at the soccer stadium in Port Said, Egypt Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012. (Photo: AP)
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Ahly Chairman Hassan Hamdy met with members of the team's board on Thursday to discuss Wednesday evening's football violence between rival fans that left at least 71 people dead – including one policeman – and roughly a thousand injured following a league match in Port Said.

In light of the incident, the club has suspended all scheduled sports activities and plans to boycott Port Said as a football venue for a five-year period.

"We're mourning our fans for fourteen days and receiving condolences at the club from 1 February – the day that Ahly’s martyrs fell," read a statement on the Cairo-based team's official website.

Hamdy and team board members called a press conference on Thursday to issue a statement on the incident, while thousands joined a massive demonstration against football violence in front of the club's Cairo headquarters.

Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri, meanwhile, sacked the board of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) on Thursday, including EFA Chairman Samir Zaher, along with Port Said's governor and security director.

Ahly officials, however, have described these moves as "insufficient," saying that those responsible for the violence "must be investigated."

“The board is in a continuous meeting to follow up on any developments and ensure that all martyrs receive compensation,” the statement from the Ahly board concluded.

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