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Nations Cup to hold minute’s silence after Egypt deaths

All quarter-final matches will observe silence after more than 70 died in the Port Said disaster Wednesday night

Reuters, Thursday 2 Feb 2012
Al Ahli
Riot police guard Al Ahli soccer players as they flee Port Said Stadium February 1, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

A minute’s silence for the victims of Egypt’s stadium disaster will be held at this weekend’s African Nations Cup quarter-finals, the continent’s soccer body said on Thursday in a statement expressing shock at the tragedy.

Seventy four people died and at least 1,000 were injured when supporters invaded the pitch at a match in Port Said on Wednesday.

Most of the deaths were among people trampled in the crush of the panicking crowd while others fell or were thrown from terraces.

“African football is in a state of mourning,” said Issa Hayatou, president of the Cairo-based Confederation of African Football (CAF) in a message of condolence to the Egyptian Football Association.

The quarter-finals of the African Nations Cup are played in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon on Saturday and Sunday. Egypt, who won the last three tournaments, failed to qualify for this year’s edition.

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