Armed Forces condemn Cairo football riots

Hatem Maher , Sunday 3 Apr 2011

The Supreme Council of Armed forces releases a statement to condemn the riots which forced the cancellation of a Champions League match as the national league's resumption is put on hold

A fan of Zamalek (2nd R) clashes with riot police at Cairo stadium April 2,2011. REUTERS

Egypt’s ruling military council condemned the violence which occurred towards the end of a bad-tempered African Champions League game between Zamalek and Tunisian side Club Africain in Cairo on Saturday.

The match was abandoned in stoppage time after thousands of angry fans invaded the pitch and attacked Africain players, some of whom were injured.

Egypt formally apologized to Tunisia for the incident and the Armed Forces has vowed not to tolerate such acts.

“The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces condemns the thuggery which took place at Cairo Stadium during the Zamalek-Africain game,” it said in a statement on its Facebook page on Sunday.  

“The council has set up an investigative committee that will work under the supervision of the justice ministry to find out the truth behind the riots which tarnish the reputation of Egypt and its people.”

The interior ministry was heavily criticized by local media for failing to secure the highly-charged clash, which attracted around 50,000 fans.

The domestic Premier League was scheduled to resume on 15 April but the Egyptian Football Association has announced its further postponement "until further notice."

Safety fears still hang over the country following a popular revolt that forced former president Hosni Mubarak to step down on 11 February.

“The council calls on the great Egyptian people to counter such acts which seriousy affect the reputation of our country,” the Armed Forces added. “Countering those acts is the cornerstone towards stability and a healthy economic situation.”

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