CAIRO (REUTERS, AFP) - At least 14 Egyptian soccer fans were killed in clashes on Sunday night when security forces barred them from entering a stadium to watch a match, a doctor at a hospital told Reuters.
The doctor who spoke in condition of anonymity said his hospital in the east of Cairo received 14 dead and eight wounded.
The trouble happened at a match between two Cairo clubs, Zamalek and Enppi. Witnesses and medical reports suggested many of the victims were crushed in a stampede, with some suffering broken necks. At least 25 other people were injured, the health ministry said.
The match continued despite the violence, provoking further outrage among the fans. The clashes prompted the government to postpone the Egyptian Premier League indefinitely, the prime minister’s office said in a statement.
The doctors said the deaths were due to suffocation. A witness said some of the fans were killed in a stampede after the police fired teargas. “Huge numbers of Zamalek club fans came to Air Defense Stadium to attend the match ... and tried to storm the stadium gates by force, which prompted the troops to prevent them from continuing the assault,” the interior ministry said in a statement, without giving more details.
Egypt has curbed the number of people allowed into soccer matches since a riot at a stadium in Port Said in February 2012 when more than 70 fans were killed. Since then, supporter groups have often tried to storm soccer grounds that they are banned from entering.
Relations between security forces and fan groups like Ultras Ahlawy which supports Al-Ahly, and Ultra White Knights of Zamalek, have been tense since the 2011 popular uprising that ended the rule of veteran autocrat Hosni Mubara in which the Ultras groups played a key role.