Egypt riot is latest example of soccer-related violence
With a death toll now up to a reported 76 people and at least 1,000 more injured, the riot that erupted following after the home team upset of Egypt's top squad Wednesday is being called the deadliest incident of soccer violence worldwide since 1996.
Fans of Masry in Port Said stormed the field after their team's rare 3-1 victory over Ahly. The celebration quickly turned violent, as Masry fans threw sticks and stones while chasing players and supporters from the opposing team, according to witnesses.
It's not the first time a soccer match in Egypt has turned deadly. Back in 1974, 49 people were trampled to death as crowds broke down barriers in an attempt to enter a club game.
Wednesday's incident is believed to have the highest death toll in a soccer-related incident since 1996, when at least 78 people died and some 180 others sustained injuries during a stampede before a World Cup qualifier between Guatemala and Costa Rica in Guatemala City.
Sadly, other soccer matches in history have had even more tragic results. In 1964, riots broke out at National Stadium in Lima, Peru, after a referee disallowed a Peruvian goal in the final two minutes of an Olympic qualifying match. The death toll was 318, with another 500 injured.
A strange incident occurred in Moscow at a European Cup match in 1982. Police have been blamed for pushing fans down a narrow, icy staircase while the match was still taking place. A reported 340 people died when fans tried to reenter following a late goal, although Moscow officials say only 61 died and the fans weren't pushed by police.
In Sheffield, England, in 1989, police opened Hillsborough Stadium gates due to crowding outside during an FA Cup semifinal. The resulting rush of people inside led to 96 fans being crushed to death.
At least 93 people died and more than 100 others were injured while trying to flee a hailstorm into locked stadium exits in Katmandu, Nepal, in 1988.
Too many other examples exist of tragedy tied to soccer worldwide. Hopefully Wednesday's incident will be the last such occurrence to be added to the list.
-- Chuck Schilken
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo: Egyptian soccer fans run on the pitch after a soccer match between Ahly and Masri at the stadium in Port Said, Egypt, on Wednesday. Credit: EPA