Deadly riot erupts at Egyptian match

Riot (Reuters Pictures)

A violent riot erupted following a match between Egyptian rivals Al-Masry and Al-Ahly, leaving dozens of people dead and hundreds of others injured.

According to various reports, the still-escalating death count from the incident in Port Said, Egypt, stands at 73, while Egyptian outlets are reporting that the country's health ministry has said that more than 1,000 are hurt.

The riots happened following the match, which host Al-Masry won to defeat its chief foe and one of the country's top teams. The home fans reportedly rushed onto the field en masse, going after opposing players (who were rushed off the field) and fans. Various reports say that those in the stampede threw stones, bottles, fireworks, flares and sticks at one another. Some of those who did not rush the field reportedly lit fires in the stands. Footage from the scene can be seen here.

Former U.S. Soccer coach Bob Bradley, now the coach of the Egyptian national team, was not at the match, according to a tweet by his agent, Ron Waxman. U.S. youth goalkeeper Samir Badr, who recently signed a contract with first-place Egyptian club Haras El-Hodood, also took to social media to assure that he was not involved in the incident, either. 

  • fischy

    It’s not fair to put this down to just soccer hooliganism. Egypt is deeply troubled right now.


  • elgringorico

    Some rumors/allegations that the military intentionally let the fans run amok as a defiant act of “see what happens when you don’t let us control sh*t?”

    “The security forces left us, they did not protect us. One fan has just died in the dressing room in front of me,” veteran playmaker Mohamed Abou-Treika screamed in a phone call with the club’s channel.



  • PaulTheOctopus

    I remember a post months ago regarding Bob Bradley. Someone said “I fear for his life as Egypt coach” and the blogger was bombarded with responses implying he was racist or something for saying that.

    I fear for Bob Bradley’s life. There is a ton on anti-American sentiment in the zone that can erupt abruptly.


  • fischy

    Interesting to read the histories of the two clubs. Al-Masry was founded after 1919 Egyptian revolution — the first club for locals in Port Said, which had various clubs for foreigners living there. Al-Ahly was formed some years earlier to allow student unions to meet during “the struggle against colonization”.

    Wonder if there’s a political bent to the clubs and their fan bases these days.


  • allouez86

    Watch the video link Ives gave. Clearly the police in riot gear were not attempting to keep fans off the pitch. What a crazy country right now.


  • Brian

    You need to differentiate between hate for our government and hate for our people. There’s a huge difference.


  • WendellGee

    And I don’t see how either have anything to do with what happened in Port Said.

    Bob Bradley will be fine. he’s not going to be hanging out with any ultras.


  • PaulTheOctopus

    It can all get jarbled up.Remember Anderson Cooper getting beat up simply because he looked (was) American. It could have been a lot worse.


  • Eric

    You know, I see a lot of riot police surrounding that field and not a lot of effort on their part to control anything. How can sercurity let fans rush the field that badly? Especially in a rivalry game you have to know games like that could get out of control very quickly.


  • Shmenge

    After Bradley got passed over for the Santos job, I remember saying something like, “he’s safer in Cairo than in Torreon.”

    Maybe I was wrong.

    The threat to Bradley is going to come now from fans of one club who feel he calls up too many from another, warring club.


  • T

    Mexico is having trouble with drug cartels, and Egypt is in a “intense” political turnover, so either way the environment (far as coaching is concerned) is hostile in both countries. I still have reason to believe he could’ve qualified for an MLS coaching position, but maybe some clubs don’t like his style of play, tactics, salary etc..


  • Gnarls

    Good example, although I doubt that had as much to do with him “looking American” as it did him not looking Egyptian and being accompanied by a film crew. Xenophobia tends to manifest itself during times of internal strife.


  • D

    Does anyone know if any of the players were killed? Was the majority of deaths from fans of the opposing team?


  • Brett

    What is wrong with people? Sports are supposed to be escapism. Leave all your troubles behind for a couple of hours and just have fun cheering for your side.


  • RNG

    Not true. If you look at the footage, right at the start, when there aren’t many fans on the field, the police stand around and do nothing. That was the moment to establish order. Once the fans sensed that nothing would be done to stop them, they rushed the field en masse.


  • NF

    Bob Bradley is in a unique position. As an outsider but also as the leader of Egyptian soccer, he must find the right balance. He could help unite the country. It will be interesting to see if/how he addresses what happened.


  • jon

    Wow. Truly FUBAR..Hopefully we get some details on the hows and whys that something like this could happen. I know there have been deaths at games before because of trampling, but here apparently fans of the winning team were literally killing fans of the opposing team!? I cannot begin to comprehend.


  • hogatroge

    They need to built their stadia like they do in Cyprus. Went to an AEK Larnaka – APOEL fixture. There are huge 15-ft-deep concrete pits surrounding all four sides of the stands and a squad of riot police on alert and at hand.


  • Oranje Mike

    Crazy. Just a few years ago Egyptians were having clashes with Algerians in the quest for a World Cup birth. Given the situation in Egypt this past year I am not shocked to see something like this. Thousands of pissed of young adults in one place will never go down well. Surely this will be chalked up as typical soccer violence in media but it will never touch on the social aspects going on right now.


  • pd

    There is a lot of anger and frustration in Egypt right now. The Revolution that caused M’barek to step down has solved some problems but has created many others. The emotional temperature in the country is something I think we cannot truly appreciate. This on top of the fact that Egypt has an unfortunate recent history of soccer violence that is clearly in a cycle of escalation (case in point was the Egypt/Algeria game that led to rioting and ambassadors being recalled in 2009).

    It’s not soccer’s fault, but it does seem like hooliganism rears it’s head amidst fans who are on the receiving end of tough economic or political times, and Egypt is in the midst of both.

    It’s a tragedy.


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