Death penalty for football fans in Egypt

Mar 10, 2013, 02:09 IST | Agencies

Egyptian court upholds death penalty for Port Said football fans accused during the killer riots in 2012

Egypt’s court yesterday confirmed the death sentences handed down to 21 Port Said football fans for their role in a stadium riot last year.

Five people have been sentenced to life and another 10, including two police officers, were given 15 years in jail. In late January, the court sentenced all 21 defendants to death in a trial that is part of the so-called “Port Said tragedy” a high-profile case of Egypt's worst-ever football fan clash and stampede that left at least 74 people dead and another 300 injured last February.

An Egyptian fan of Al-Ahly football club fires celebratory shots in the air during the Port Said win in 2012. Pic/AFP

Before the final court ruling, authorities tightened security in the Suez Canal city of Port Said and in Cairo. Another 28 defendants, including seven police officers, have been acquitted.

State television reports said football fans blocked Sadat Metro station, located in Tahrir Square, but the blockade ended quickly and the metro is now functioning normally again.

The death verdicts triggered violence in Port Said, which lasted for more than a month. The violent protests left dozens dead and hundreds wounded. 

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