Egypt lifts ban on attending football matches

Egypt lifts ban on attending football matches

Egyptian authorities have announced the end of a six-year ban on attending football matches in the North African country, which was imposed in 2012 after 73 supporters of Al Ahly died during a riot inside Port Said stadium.

According to the sports ministry, 5,000 fans would be allowed to watch local matches for now while 20,000 would be let in for international games.

“Everyone is looking forward to the public’s return to the stands once again,” Egypt’s Youth and Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhy said. “So they can attend their matches and encourage their teams in the appropriate manner.”

However, the new measure takes effect from September 1, according to the official.

The Port Said stadium violence occurred on February 1, 2012 during a league match between home side Al Masry and Al Ahly, whose fans were reported to have insulted the hosts during the game, which sparked attacks from local supporters.

The deaths and the more than 1000 victims of injury were due to stampede following the closure of gates, according a formal report.

Eleven men were sentenced to death for their role in the riot, 10 were given 15 years and 14 others were sentenced to 10 years in jail.

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