Fans clash with security personnel to force their way into stadium
Cairo: At least 22 people were killed and over 20 injured when angry Egyptian football fans clashed with security personnel to force their way into a stadium to watch a match, triggering a stampede and one of the deadliest game-related violence in the soccer-crazy nation.
Fans light flares during an Egyptian Premier League match between Zamalek and ENPPI at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo. Pic:AP/PTI
Egyptian authorities suspended all major football matches indefinitely after the incident, which broke out when police fired tear gas and birdshot at fans who jostled with them to gain entry to the Air Defence Stadium ahead of a game between Egyptian Premier League clubs Zamalek and ENPPI.
However, the match went on despite the deadly clashes and ended with a 1-1 draw. Zamalek's full-back Omar Gaber, a favourite among fans, withdrew to express solidarity with the fans.
At least 22 people were killed, according to the public prosecutor's office. Another 20 people were injured.
Bereaved family members wait at the Zynhom morgue in Cairo. Pic/AFP
However, the Health Ministry put the death toll at 19.
"Nineteen people died," interior ministry spokesman Hani Abdel Latif said.
Initial local media reports had said as many as 30 people were killed in the tragic incident.