Wednesday, February 1st, 2012
The Egyptian top flight witnessed a massive game in the title race on Wednesday as second-placed Al Ahly travelled to Al Masry, who after winning the match 3-1 jumped into 4th.
The result however was overshadowed by incredibly shocking scenes at the full time whistle as hundreds (possible thousands) of home fans stormed the pitch and began assaulting Al Ahly players and on-site security officials.
Leaving aside the urgent question of why hundreds of Al Masry fans were able to easily burst onto the pitch, matters quickly spiralled out of control as the visitors were chased down the tunnel after their defeat.
A nasty game of cat and mouse was captured on TV as the Al Ahly squad literally ran for cover whilst Al Masry fans tried to clobber them with punches and kicks. While most of the players seemed to escape down the tunnel in the nick of time, a handful of Al Ahly coaches and subs seemed to get embroiled in the chaos.
Pockets of violence between fans and officials then sprouted around the pitch, whilst a huge crowd of home fans tried to force their way into the changing rooms.
Post match reports have suggested that Al Masry may be denied the win by the Egyptian FA as punishment for the horrific post-match scenes.
UPDATE: Distressing reports continue to leak out of Egypt, where it has now been confirmed that tens of fans have been killed and many many more injured in the post match violence.
Latest reports suggest that 28 fans died in the melee, while 100s may have been injured too.
Horrific quotes from Al Ahly players have also reached the wires.
Mohamed Abou-Treika: “The security forces left us, they did not protect us. One fan has just died in the dressing room in front of me.”
Mohamed Barakat: “People have died, we are seeing corpses now. There are no security forces or army personnel to protect us. It is our fault because we played that match. The authorities are afraid to cancel the league because they just care about money, they do not care about the lives of people.”
SECOND UPDATE: The death toll is now up to 73. Over 300 fans are injured also.
Additional video: More footage of Al Masry ultras rioting vs Al Ahly.