More than 73 people have been killed in clashes between rival fans following a football match in the Egyptian city of Port Said according to Egyptian state television reports.
The Egyptian deputy health minister says “it is the biggest disaster in the country’s football history.”
The bloody violence occurred as supporters invaded the pitch after a match between top-tier clubs Masry and al-Ahly on Wednesday.
“This is unfortunate and deeply saddening,” Hesham Sheiha told state television.
“Some of the dead were security officers” a morgue official was quoted.
It is feared the death toll could rise as.
About 1,000 people have been hurt.
Wednesday’s violence broke out at the end of the match, which, unusually, Port Said side Masry won 3-1. As match ended, their fans flooded onto the pitch attacking Ahly players and fans. A small group of riot police tried to protect the players, but were overwhelmed. Part of the stadium was set on fire.
Egyptian fans are notoriously violent, particularly supporters of al-Ahly known as ‘the Ultras’.
“This is not football. This is a war and people are dying in front of us,” al-Ahly player Mohamed Abo Treika said.