Fanshawe FC: Egypt soccer violence is not a common occurrence
Seventy-three people died when fans of both clubs ran onto the field after the underdog al-Masry won the match at home. Many were trampled on, or fell from the stands to the playing surface. Flares were shot off at players and at the stands.
Al Ahly has been Egypt's top team for a number of years. I am no expert on Egyptian football, but I do know that al-Ahly is one of the top teams in Africa. In fact, they have won the Confederation of African Football Champions League six times, a record for any club in Africa. While al-Masry is a mid-level club, having a good run of form, they reached fourth with that win.
The match started with a goal for al-Ahly early in the 11th minute. The score stayed the same until the 72nd minute when al-Masry scored three quick goals. Just after the first goal, al-Ahly had a player sent off.
How the match unfolded, how much it meant to both teams and how frustrated they were with the other team should never lead to such unnecessary violence. The fact is, fan violence hasn't been the norm for years, but people have yet to break away from that perception. The last major act of soccer violence occurred in 1996, when a Guatemalan contingent did something similar to what these teams did before a game against Costa Rica.
This is not football. This is not representing people who follow football properly. Unbelievably, ultra groups (groups of supposed 'hooligans') have sprouted up in the Middle East in the last couple of years. Tying this in with the unsettling political situation in Egypt can be a viable argument, but in the end, football is not political.
The organizations at hand should be in proper mourning these next weeks. After that time, they need to deal with this problem before more people are hurt trying to enjoy something they love.
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