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Ahly president 'shocked' by Port Said football violence

Red Devils temporarily suspend all sporting activities in wake of disaster, declare 5-year boycott of Port Said football

Mohamad Mosselhi, Thursday 2 Feb 2012
Hassan Hamdy
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Ahly President Hassan Hamdy asserted at a press conference on Thursday that Wednesday evening's football violence in Port Said had been "unacceptable," adding that he had been "shocked" by the incident.

"I never imagined that a football match could turn into such a disaster," Hamdy said. "I couldn’t imagine that players might face the spectre of death in a football match."

Ahly announced on Thursday that it was suspending all of its sports activities and was planning to boycott Port Said as a football venue for a five-year period. The decision came in the wake of violent clashes in Port Said Stadium on Wednesday evening that left more than 71 people dead and roughly one thousand injured following Masry’s 3-1 win over Ahly.

Concerning reports about team coach Manuel Jose Da Silva’s possible departure, Hamdy confirmed that the Portuguese coach had not requested the termination of his contract with Ahly. Several media reports had suggested that the Portuguese coach had requested that his contract be annulled following the violence in Port Said.

"Manuel Jose did not ask me to end his contract," Hamdy stressed.

The Ahly president described the dismissal on Thursday of the Egyptian Football Association's board as "insufficient," saying that all those responsible for Wednesday's violence "must be investigated."   

He went on to stress that the club would never take part in political issues and that the team would always represent an exclusively athletic institution.

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