Egypt refers 75 people to court over Port Said football disaster
CAIRO - Egypt's prosecutor general on Thursday referred 75 people to criminal court in connection with football riots last month that left more than 70 people dead.
The defendants include nine members of the police and three officials from the Al-Masry football club. Two minors will be sent to a children's court, the prosecutor's office said in a statement.
On February 1, clashes in the Suez Canal city of Port Said between fans of home team Al-Masry and Cairo's Al-Ahly, erupted at final whistle.
Al-Masry fans invaded the pitch after their team beat the visitors 3-1, throwing rocks, bottles and fireworks at Al-Ahly supporters, causing chaos and panic as players and fans fled in all directions.
The violence marked one of the deadliest incidents in football history, and came amid claims by witnesses the security forces did little to prevent the rioting.
On Thursday, several thousand hardcore supporters of Al-Ahly, known as the Ahly Ultras, marched in central Cairo to demand justice for their fallen comrades.
Holding up posters of those who died in the violence, the marchers chanted against the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took power when President Hosni Mubarak was ousted by a popular uprising.
They also called for the restructuring of the interior ministry, with which the football supporters have often clashed, even before the uprising.
"The people want the cleansing of the interior ministry," they chanted, most donning black T-shirts or red, their team colour.
The stadium deaths sparked days of violent protests in Cairo, in which another 16 people were killed.
Many believe the football riot was orchestrated either by the police or supporters of Mubarak, a reflection of distrust towards the ruling military.