'This is not football, this is a war and people are dying': More than 70 dead and 1,000 injured after pitch invasion in Egypt

By LEON WATSON

The Egyptian army was being airlifted in by helicopter to rescue stranded players who became trapped in the changing rooms

At least 73 football fans have been killed and 1,000 others left injured after riots broke out at a match in Egypt.
Seconds after the referee blew his whistle, supporters swarmed onto the pitch throwing stones, fireworks and bottles at rival fans, players and security officers in the city of Port Said, officials said.
It was the worst incident of soccer violence in Egypt and the deadliest worldwide since 1996.

Egyptian fans clash with riot police after a shock result in the country's premier league

The game was between Al Ahli, one of Egypt's most successful clubs, and Al-Masry, a team based in Port Said.
Live television footage showed Masry fans running onto the field after the referee blew the whistle and chasing Ahli players, even though their team secured a shock 3-1 win.
The Ahly players rushed for their changing room as fights broke out among the hundreds of fans swarming on to the field.

Police struggled to keep order as chaos erupted in the stadium

Some men went to the rescue of a manager from the losing team as he was being beaten while police officers stood by, apparently overwhelmed.
Ahli player Mohamed Abo Treika described the violence on the Ahli television channel as a 'war'.
He said: 'This is not football. This is a war and people are dying in front of us. There is no movement and no security and no ambulances.

Children were seen among the crowds at the stadium of Port Said as violence broke out

'I call for the premier league to be cancelled. This is horrible situation and today can never be forgotten.'
Former Tottenham midfielder Hossam Ghaly was caught up in the horrific scenes.
Ghaly, who made 34 appearances for Spurs between 2006 and 2009, is captain of Ahly and was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 75th minute.

Television pictures showed fans swarming over the pitch after a match in the Egyptian city of Port Said

He is believed to have been in the dressing room when the violence erupted.
State television quoted Hesham Sheiha, deputy health minister, as saying that most of the injuries were caused by concussion and deep cuts. He added that the riot was the 'biggest disaster in Egypt's soccer history'.
Egypt's state prosecutor ordered an immediate investigation into the violence, and the Egypt Football Association ordered an indefinite suspension of the annual championship. The parliament said it would convene an emergency session.

Reaction: Egypt's state prosecutor ordered an immediate investigation into the violence, and the Egypt Football Association ordered an indefinite suspension of the annual championship

Ahli players run for their lives as rival fans stream onto the pitch and head towards them

Most of the victims are believed to have died from suffocation or head injuries, with some cornered in the stadium as parts of it were set on fire.
Last night the Egyptian army was being airlifted in by helicopter to rescue stranded players who became trapped in the changing rooms.

Under fire: Riot police guard Al Ahli soccer players as they flee Port Said Stadium

Al-Ahly players escape from the field as fans of Al-Masry team rush onto the pitch

Egyptian fans are notoriously violent, particularly supporters of Al-Ahly who are known as the Ultras.
The Ultras were heading into Port Said in the aftermath of the massacre, according to their website, leading to fears of violent reprisals.
The two teams have a long history of bad blood, and clashes have erupted in recent years between their fans.
Another match in Cairo was halted by the referee after receiving news of the violence in Port Said, prompting fans to set parts of the stadium on fire, television footage showed.

Fans of Masry team run after players of the Ahly team during the riots

source: dailymail

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