Tunisian players survive assault at Cairo Stadium

Hatem Maher , Saturday 2 Apr 2011

Club Africain players attacked by thousands of Zamalek hooligans, some Tunisian players recount escaping with their lives

Zamalek v Club Africain

Several Club Africain players said they only just survived an onslaught by angry Zamalek hooligans following a bad-tempered African Champions League game on Saturday, which was cut short due to the violence that erupted.

The game was called off in stoppage time after thousands of Zamalek fans invaded the Cairo Stadium pitch amid unprecedented chaotic scenes in Egyptian football.

“I was beaten up by the supporters. I don’t know how I managed to reach the dressing room after all that. I was screaming in pain after they punched and kicked me,” Africain defender Khaled Souissi told Tunisian radio Mosaique.

“I don’t know how I survived. Thanks be to God.”

Zamalek led 2-1 but were on the verge of elimination from the Champions League preliminary round after failing to overturn the 4-2 first-leg deficit.

They had a goal disallowed as offside in additional time and the disarray followed shortly after as fans stormed the pitch, attacked players and dismantled the goal’s posts.

“Around 20 fans surrounded and beat me, I sustained a nose injury. I escaped death,” Africain skipper Wissem Ben Yahia, who scored his side’s sole goal, said.

Mosaique reported that Africain duo Aymen Soltani and Mehdi Ressaissi were taken to the hospital for treatment after suffering serious wounds.

Zamalek coach Hossam Hassan was also taken to hospital after fainting.

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