Footballers angry over fans deaths in Egypt's stadium disaster

Eslam Omar , Monday 9 Feb 2015

Footballers react to Zamalek fans deaths as it brings back painful memories of the Port Said disaster

Port Said
File Photo: Soccer players try to leave the stadium as chaos erupts at a soccer stadium in Port Said city, in Egypt, February 1, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

Dozens of football fans died in a crush after clashes with the police at the Air Defence stadium before a league game on Sunday between Zamalek and ENPPI.

Police stated they died due to a stampede while the Zamalek supporters, Ultras White Knights (UWK), said a criminal plot was pre-planned. They blamed new security procedures that included a 'mental cage' by the stadium gates. Investigations are still ongoing.

All football activities have been suspended across the country, bringing back sad memories of February 2012 when 72 Ahly fans died in clashes with rivals Masry after a league game in Port Said stadium.

Ahram Online collects the reactions of footballers to the disaster:

Mohamed Abou Treika:

"Football is for entertainment not murdering," the retired star player tweeted.

Treika is a former Ahly and Egypt star who collected a series of domestic and continental trophies. He featured on the squad that lived through the Port Said disaster.

Wael Gomaa:

Wael Gomaa

"It seems like we didn't learn from the Port Said disaster. Football fans pay the price. How can spectators’ lives be worth less than a football game ticket?!" he wondered, telling reporters.

Gomaa, currently Ahly football director, is a former successful Ahly and Egypt defender who also witnessed the Port Said disaster.

Samir Zaher:

Samir Zaher

"The Football Association is responsible for the disaster. The board [led by Gamal Allam] must resign," he told an Egyptian television programme.

Zaher is a former EFA chairman. Egypt won three successive Africa Cup of Nations trophies during his era.

Ahmed Shobeir:

Ahmed Shobeir

"All Ultras groups must be dissolved for the sake of a safe life for Egyptians. All outlaws should be put on trial, not killed," former Egypt goalie told an Egyptian TV programme.

Shobeir, an arch-opponent of all Egyptian ULTRAS groups who regulary attacks them on his sports TV and radio programmes, is a former EFA board member.

He participated in the Pharaohs’ last appearance in the World Cup in 1990. 

Juan Carlos Garrido:

"That's impossible, horrible. My condolences for families and victims friends. RIP"

The Spaniard is Ahly’s coach who inspired them to win the last Africa Confederation Cup title.

FIFA chairman Sepp Blatter:

"Football party at #AFCON2015 is tainted hearing very sad news from Egypt," he tweeted.

"All of us at Chelsea share in the sadness and sorrow of football fans in Egypt over the tragic incident in Cairo yesterday, 8 February. We send our condolences to the families and friends of the victims," the English Premier League club wrote on their official Facebook page with over 41 million followers.


Mohamed Abdel-Shafy:   

Mohamed Abdel-Shafy

"What happened was a massacre. Shame on the Zamalek players who accepted to play on the dead bodies of their fans," he stated on his Instagram account, adding "74 fans from Ahly, 53 from Masry, 22 from Zamalek + Amr Hussein. Their murderer is the same and enjoying his killing in all impunity."

Abdel-Shafy is an Egypt and Zamalek star who currently plays for Saudi team Ahly Jeddah.


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