Egypt is beginning to deal with the fallout from Wednesday’s deadly attacks at a soccer game between al-Masry and al-Ahly. The parliament has launched an investigation, and victims, their families, and the public demand answers as to how this could have happened.
At least 74 people were killed and hundreds more were injured when al-Masry fans stormed the field and attacked al-Ahly players and fans. Horrific scenes ensued, as many were stabbed, beated and trampled inside and outside of the stadium in the city of Port Said. It was the deadliest case of soccer-related violence the world has seen in over 15 years.
But Wednesday’s tragedy took on a different dimension to others. The fact that so many of the attackers used weapons leads many to believe that it was no random outbreak of violence. Rather, it was a planned and coordinated attack involving two sets of fans with a history of bad blood between them.
Some assert that many of the attackers were not even Al-Masry fans, but thugs intent on maiming and killing al-Ahly’s ultras. Those same ultras were credited with standing up to security forces during the protests and uprisings that ultimately lead to last year’s Egyptian revolution.
High-level officials in the local and national government have been accused of criminal negligence (and even participating in the planning of Wednesday’s massacre). According to some reports, security for a game between two clubs with a history of animosity was noticeably lax that day.
Shortly before the end of the game, attackers took to the field. Many police officers did little to stem the rush of people headed for the section of the stadium where al-Ahly’s fans were seated. Were they poorly trained, or were they ordered not to intervene?
These are some of the questions and suspected causes. What do you think? Vote in our poll below.