At least 22 soccer fans were killed and 20 injured when police and supporters clashed at a football game in Cairo on Sunday, according to local media. Authorities have said they expect the death toll to rise.
The Egyptian Health Ministry said Sunday that violence erupted in Cairo’s northeast between fans and authorities when security forces stopped them from entering a stadium to watch a local league match.
Domestic football competitions have been played before limited crowds since more than 70 spectators were killed during sports riots in Port Said in 2012.
Citing Egypt’s prosecutor’s office, state television reported 22 fans were killed when rioting began before the Zamalek and Enppi local soccer league game. Police reportedly used tear gas to quell the riot.
Health Ministry spokesman Hossam Abdel Gaffar says some 20 people were wounded in the attack.
“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 on the stadium facilities,” Egypt’s Interior Ministry said in a statement without providing more details.
Zamalek, known as the “White Knights,” posted on the team’s official Facebook page that the violence began when authorities only opened one door to let them in.
Following the clashes, the prime minister’s office said in a statement that it had postponed matches in the Egyptian Premier League indefinitely.
jlw/rc (Reuters, AP, AFP)