One person was shot dead and 18
injured in clashes between security forces and angry football fans
in Egypt's Port Said after their club Al-Masry was banned for
two seasons following the country's worst stadium disaster, a
medical source said.
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) said the club was
banned for two seasons following the pitch invasion that killed
74 fans last month when Port Said-based Al-Masry beat Cairo's Al
Ahli, the most successful club in Africa.
Port Said Stadium, where the stampede took place, would be
closed for three years, the EFA said.
Witnesses said military police fired shots in the air to
disperse hundreds of fans protesting outside the Suez
Canal Authority building in Port Said.
The clashes began late on Friday and continued into the
early hours of Saturday, witnesses said.
"Hundreds of angry fans clashed with military police after
the decision was announced," one witness said.
"One was shot dead, in the back, and 18 were injured in the
clashes, two of them are suffering gunshot wounds," the medical
The EFA said in a statement that Masry's football activities
would be suspended for the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons. The club
would be reinstated to the Premier League in the 2013/14 season.
During the February pitch invasion, steel doors at the
stadium were bolted shut, trapping fans trying to escape from
the stands and dozens were crushed to death.
Many fans blamed the government for failing to send enough
police to the stadium given the tense build-up to the match, and
many believe the violence was started by hired thugs. At least
1,000 people were injured.
Prosecutors referred 75 people, including nine security
officials in Port Said, to the criminal court on March 15 to
face trial over the violence.
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