Tragedy of Egypt: When Infiltrated Political Football

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When Egypt was struggling to establish stability and peace in post-Mubarak era, the worst violence and chaos occur at football matches in the country of the Pharaohs. Football is the favorite sport of Egyptians after going through tough times by bringing together people of Egypt are now turned into a civil war like zone.

73 people were reported killed in the tragedy, while more than 1,000 people were reportedly injured in the chaos as thousands of fans stormed the field and started fighting each other in the aftermath of the defeat of Al Masry Al Ahly 3-1 in the League of Egypt.

It is unfortunate, dozens of lives have drifted despite many signs that a disaster will happen.

Weak Security

In 2011, there were many incidents in which Egyptian security forces to show weakness and inability to control violence by football fans.

In April 2011, the ineffectiveness of Egyptian security personnel visible when thousands of fans ran onto the field before the end of the African Champions match between local club Zamalek club against Tunisia Africa. Hundreds of police on duty at Cairo International Stadium could not stop the chaos at the time.

Then in November, EFA competition committee ordered Al Ahly and Zamalek to play a home game behind closed doors as punishment for the use of fireworks and firecrackers during the game.

In the same month, Ismaily was convicted of violence by Al Ittihad pedukungnya in the game, while Al Masry also punished when their supporters for throwing plastic water bottles and stones onto the pitch in a game against Smouha. Both teams were ordered to play behind closed doors.

There are many more incidents of violence committed by the football fans in Egypt occurred in 2011 as well. But the signs are most concerned about before the tragedy took place is the attitude of the supporters in response to the policy of the EFA.

League opener after Al Ahly of Egypt moved to Alexandria as a form of punishment for the violence of its supporters and the use of fireworks in the Egyptian Cup two months earlier, on behalf of the group Al Ahly Ultras proudly unfurled a banner that read, “You can not teach how to ways to support our team. ”

Furthermore, the militant group was explained the meaning of their banners through messages posted on their Facebook page, saying:

“This message is primarily intended for the Egyptian Football Association. It is also aimed at anyone who believes that he can turn a football stadium into a prison under his control. We have a stadium, we have his own establishment.”

Political charges

Egypt State football has just re-rolling after a decline for many months due to the revolutions of Egypt some time ago.

The Ultras, are usually apolitical, has been affected by the political atmosphere in Egypt to believe that they have unlimited power, and that the EFA is nothing more than a tyrannical organization that seeks to restrict their freedom, like what was done to Egypt’s Mubarak during his rule.

There are some allegations that supporters of Hosni Mubarak that their leaders are not willing to play a major role imposed on this tragedy. Port Said area is considered as one of the rebel base of the ruling regime over 30 years.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the largest political force in Egypt, accused the ousted president’s supporters tried to exploit the dissatisfaction of supporters of Al-Experts are favorites to win but can be defeated by a team of Al-Masry is the underdog in the match to make a mess.

“The events in Port Said, is planned and a message from the remnants of the previous regime,” said MP, Essam al-Erian, as quoted by Aljazeera on Thursday (02/02/2012).

Besides the attitude that is not readily security forces to prevent violence is also an indication that there is another power play behind the tragic incident. Based on reports from Al-Jazeera, Rawya Rageh, when the clashes began to occur, visible police guard in the field. But the police did nothing to prevent the clash occurred.

“There are riot police in the square, but they look not engage in or run the other direction,” he said.

“Some people say the police may not have been trained to deal with violence. During the Mubarak leadership, they are known as a powerful force and sheer brutality. And now when they deal with riots, they can not handle,” said Rageh.


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