Liverpool Message Board
On Wednesday, the whole world witnessed one of, if not the ugliest and saddest incident, in the history of sport.
Seventy-four people died and more than 1000 were injured as a result of a riot after a football match between Al Masry of Port Said and Al Ahly of Cairo.
To some it might have looked like a tragic 'accident' similar to what happened in Europe before at Heysel, Hillsborough, Bastia, etc, but when we learnt that the majority of the deaths and injuries were caused by stabbings, head injuries from blunt objects and gunshots, it became clear that there are some serious questions that need answering.
'Ultra' fan groups started in Egypt in 2007, and although I am totally against their aggressive and fanatical style of supporting their teams, right from the start they have suffered a lot at the hands of the police. When there were calls for people to go out and create a social revolution, they were among the first to participate.
After the toppling of former president Hosni Mubarak, they continued their protestations against the police and lately they have been putting pressure on SCAF (Senior Counsel of Armed Forces) to hand the power to a civilian authority.
It is also worth mentioning that 'Ultras' played a major role in defending the protestors during the ‘Battle of the Camel’ at Tahrir Square last year, when 11 Egyptian protestors died and hundreds were injured by Mubarak’s supporters who were riding horses and camels.
Do the actions in Port Said sound like a message on the battle's one-year anniversary?
Though some may say that the historical unrest between Al Ahly fans and the local fans of Port Said is the main cause of what happened on Wednesday, I have to say that after the revolution, the level of intolerance between various Ultras groups decreased significantly - after all, they participated and were all united under the same goal which ended the era of the old regime.
Even if this week's incident was influenced by fanatical causes, does it sound logical that fans of a winning team would go mad and kill 74 people? They would surely know the result of such actions.
Added to that, this wasn’t the first incident of a pitch invasion by fans in Egypt after the revolution; this happened five or six times before, although on those occasions no one was killed.