"At least 73 people were killed Wednesday in violence following a soccer match in Port Said, when fans flooded the field seconds after a match against a rival team was over, the Health Ministry said. Without giving specific figures, Deputy Health Minister Hesham Shiha said in a statement that hundreds were injured.
A security official and a medic said fans of the home team, Masry, swarmed the field after a rare 3-1 win against Ahly, Egypt's top team. They threw stones, fireworks, and bottles at Ahly fans and injured some players.
The trouble started in the second half of the match when a small group of Ahly fans raised a banner insulting their rivals. But many of those present pointed out the conspicuous and near complete absence of security forces and their abandonment of regular protocol in securing football matches as the main culprit behind so many people dying in less than one hour.
Some political actors and commentators are drawing connections between the soccer-related violence and attempts in Parliament to put an end to the State of Emergency, which Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi recently said would only be applied to acts of “thuggery.”
“What happened cannot be a coincidence. This massacre and three armed robberies happened only one day after the Interior Minister came to Parliament trying to convince us of the importance of maintaining the State of Emergency,” Ziad El-Elaimy, an MP with the Social Democratic Party, said in a post-match television interview.
Eye witnesses confirm that security was largely absent when the Masry fans stormed the field. They also claim that security forces allowed Masry fans to enter the visiting team’s stands....."