Egypt FA Slaps Al-Masry With ‘Minimum Penalty’ for Deadly Violence at Soccer Game

Egypt FA Slaps Al-Masry With 'Minimum Penalty' for Deadly Violence at Soccer GameEgypt’s Football Association came down relatively lightly on the club whose alleged “fans” caused the violence leading to the deaths of 74 people. The sanctions could have been much worse.

Al-Masry was banned from soccer activity for two years, and its stadium will be closed for three. The authorities imposed a lenient penalty on the Port Said club, according to Ahram Online.

“It was the minimum penalty, according to the regulations of the EFA and FIFA,” prime minister Kamal El-Ganzouri said. “Masry can lodge an appeal with relevant authorities in a bid to reduce the punishment.”

Authorities have chosen to hold the club accountable, but only to a point. Many allege that the violence was politically motivated, and police allowed it to happen. Young people in the city of Port Said have been rioting since the sanctions were announced on Friday.

On Feb. 1, armed thugs seated among al-Masry fans stormed the field, and attacked fans of visiting club al-Ahly. It caused a panic, and many fans died after they were crushed against exit gates that were bolted shut. Scores were killed, and over 1,000 others were injured.

Fans across the country and around the world have demanded justice for the victims and answers as to the causes of the violence. Police officers and a high-ranking security official are among 75 people who have been arrested and charged with various crimes (including murder).

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