Egypt Independent

9 injured in riots at Africa Champion League match in Cairo



Nine people were injured in riots during the last few minutes of an Africa Champions League match on Saturday between Egypt's Zamalek club, and Tunisia's Club Africain, said the Egyptian Ministry of Health.

Angry at a referee decision, Zamalek fans descended and damaged Cairo Stadium's pitch, grandstands and police vehicles, while a number of security officers suffered injuries and bruises, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Interior.

The injured fans are all in stable condition, said Khaled al-Khatib, director of emergency and ambulance services at the Ministry of Health.

The Ministry of Interior said a number of rioters were arrested, and Africain players and supporters were given safe exit.

It added that police had adopted all measures required to secure the game, but "fans, filled with fury unfamiliar on Egyptian playfields, poured into the pitch" while "security forces handled the situation with self-restraint to avoid its deterioration."

Zamalek was leading by 2 to 1 when the riots erupted.

The Ministry of Interior urged sports authorities to take immediate action against unruly fans and live up to their responsibilities to ensuring that such violence never occurs again.

Egyptian fans had hung fliers welcoming the Tunisian guests and lauding the recent Tunisian uprising against ousted President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali that took place a few weeks before Egypt's 25 January revolution.

Several Africain fans broke into the pitch during the home game in Tunisia on 21 March; Africain was beating its Egyptian counterpart 4 to 2.