Sanctions on Port Said club Masry to be announced 'within 10 days'

Hatem Maher, Saturday 17 Mar 2012

Head of Egypt's National Sports Council (NSC) says announcement pending over sanctions Masry will face following Port Said Stadium disaster

Kamal El-Ganzouri
Prime minister Kamal El-Ganzouri held a meeting with relevant parties to discuss the latest developments in the Port Said disaster (Photo: Ahram)

Port Said-based club Masry will be punished within 10 days at most, head of the National Sports Council (NSC) Emad El-Bannani said on Saturday.

Ahly’s supporters, including the hardcore Ultras group, have recently voiced concerns over a delay in sanctioning Masry following the 1 February disaster which left at least 74 fans killed following the end of an Egyptian Premier League game.

Seventy-five people were referred to the criminal court on Thursday to face trial over the tragedy, including Port Said's security chief, but Ahly officials and fans said they still await the sanctions which will be imposed on Masry on the football level.

A heated debate among football figures is ongoing over whether the club should be relegated to a lower division. Port Said-based members of parliament have lashed out at any plans to demote Masry to the league’s second-tier.

“The sanctions will be revealed within 10 days at most,” El-Bannani said after attending a meeting involving Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri, interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim, Ahly chairman Hassan Hamdy and Egyptian Football Association (EFA) interim president Anwar Saleh.

“Mr Kamal El-Ganzouri stressed that the punishment should neither be lenient nor excessive.”

They also discussed in the meeting possible resumption of domestic football activities, which have been suspended since the disaster.

The EFA cancelled the 2011/12 league season last week, proposing a plan to hold a friendly tournament instead. However, the interior ministry has yet to give them the green light to go ahead with their plan.

“The interior ministry will have the final word over whether to resume football activities or not,” El-Bannani added.

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