Egyptian military and police clashed with thousands of angry soccer fans in a Suez Canal city over the suspension of their club following a deadly riot last month, witnesses said on Saturday. A medical official said a teenager was killed.
The riot in the city of Port Said in which at least 74 people died was the world’s worst soccer-related disaster in 15 years. The causes remain murky. Officers have been charged with assisting city soccer fans to attack a Cairo club with a long history of enmity with the police, and some Port Said residents have claimed that hired outsiders were responsible for much of the killing.
In the latest clashes, Egyptian troops fired volleys of tear gas and shot into in the air to disperse protesters affiliated with Port Said’s Al Masry club, angry for what they see as unfair measures against their club and their city. Violence erupted late Friday and continued until early Saturday.
Witnesses said that protesters set fire to tires, blocked major roads and then gathered in front of the Suez Canal’s main administrative building in an attempt to storm it. Soldiers and police cordoned off the building.
An official said teenager Belal Mamdouh was killed with a gunshot to the back while 25 were injured, mostly because of breathing difficulties from tear gas. He spoke anonymously because he was not authorised to speak to the press.
The clashes erupted after the Egyptian Football Association on Friday officially suspended Port Said’s soccer club Al-Masry for two seasons ending 2013, and closed its stadium for three years as punishment for the stadium riot.