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Egypt FA to compensate families, discuss league resumption
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) says it will compensate the families of those that were killed Sunday, when fans of Cairo giants Zamalek tried to enter a local stadium to watch their team’s domestic league match against ENPPI.
“We have decided to pay 500,000 [Egyptian] pounds as compensation for the victims’ relatives,” the EFA said in a statement on its official website.
“Every family will get 25,000.”
The EFA also said it would discuss the resumption of football activities in the country after a three-day mourning period.
“There will be a meeting after the three days of mourning between all the concerned parties to discuss the possibility of resuming football activities,” the statement said.
The EFA also said that it urges Egyptian media to “make sure everything they publish is accurate to avoid any escalation of the current situation.”
Egypt’s Health Ministry says 19 people died in the incident, while the Facebook page of Zamalek’s Ultras White Knights group said the death toll stood at 28.
Egyptian police say the victims died in a stampede when it fired teargas on fans that it claims forced their way into the stadium without tickets. The Zamalek Ultras White Knights say the incident was premeditated, calling it “a planned massacre.”
Fans took to Twitter to show pictures of tickets they claim were for Sunday’s match, with some posted even before the incident occurred.
An official investigation is underway.
Sunday’s tragedy comes almost three years to-the-day after the Port Said disaster that saw 72 fans killed at a match that also raised questions about possible police implicity.
There’s a long history of discord between the government’s security apparatus and Egypt’s hardcore “Ultras” football fans. In 2011, Ahly and Zamalek Ultras formed a pact to help lead protests already underway that would eventually result in the ouster of then-President Hosni Mubarak. Even well-before then, anti-regime chants were commonplace at football matches in Egypt.