Flares are thrown during clashes after a football match between Egypt's Al-Ahly and Al-Masry teams on February 1, 2012
Flares are thrown in the stadium during clashes that erupted after a football match between Egypt's Al-Ahly and Al-Masry teams in Port Said, 220 kms northeast of Cairo, on February 1, 2012. Thousands of supporters of Al-Ahly club demonstrated in Cairo on Friday to demand severe punishments for 75 people on trial for dozens of deaths in Egypt's worst football disaster. © - AFP/File
Flares are thrown during clashes after a football match between Egypt's Al-Ahly and Al-Masry teams on February 1, 2012
AFP
Last updated: January 18, 2013

Egyptian fans demand tough verdicts in football trial

Thousands of supporters of Al-Ahly club demonstrated in Cairo on Friday to demand severe punishments for 75 people on trial for dozens of deaths in Egypt's worst football disaster.

More than 70 people were killed in Port Said in February last year during clashes in the Suez Canal city between fans of home side Al-Masry and the Ultras of Al-Ahly.

The violence came amid charges from witnesses that security forces did little to prevent rioting, prompting more deadly clashes in the days that followed.

Nine policemen are among 75 defendants in the trial which opened in April. A verdict is due on January 26.

Many believe the rioting was orchestrated either by the police or supporters of ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

On Friday Al-Ahly supporters marched from the club's Cairo headquarters to Tahrir Square, with many protesters chanting slogans hostile to Mubarak's successor, Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, an AFP correspondent said.

Many protesters also demanded the death penalty for the defendants, vowing to unleash a new "revolution" like the 2011 uprising that toppled Mubarak, unless their demands are met.

They also pledged to protest on the day of the verdict.

The Ultras played a key role in the Arab Spring-inspired uprising that forced Mubarak to quit on February 11, 2011 after three decades of autocratic rule.

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