The Al-Masry team beat Cairo's Al-Ahly team 3-1in Port Said, Egypt Wednesday, but instead of looking at box score numbers after the game, city officials were tallying a death toll. Following the match, which has a history of violence between the two teams, riots broke out, causing at least 74 deaths and leaving more than 1,000 others injured. Up to 150 people are in critical condition and numerous people suffered deep cuts and concussions.
The city is unsure if political tension or intense rivalries incited the fighting, but it's most likely a combination of both. Egypt's interior ministry said fans were provoking police at the stadium. The injuries were a result of people using rocks, chairs, knives, and anything else they could find as weapons. Many also fell from the stadium bleachers or suffocated.
"There were organized groups in the crowds that purposely provoked the police all through the match and escalated the violence and stormed onto the field after the final whistle," said Gen. Marwan Mustapha of Egypt's interior ministry. "Our policemen tried to contain them, but not engage."
The fights have once again stirred protests and brought out promises of retaliation, however Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi is sure that will not happen.
"This period, I assure you, will be peaceful," said Tantawi. "Egypt will be stable again. The military council is executing a road map to transfer the authority to an elected civilian entity. ... Whoever has any plot against Egypt will not succeed."