The fans of the Zamalek Sports Club have said in a statement they have managed to identify three officers whom they accuse of causing the deaths of at least 19 of their friends outside a Cairo stadium last week.
The Zamalek White Knights, the club’s organized fan group, said the three officers had fired tear gas at the fans outside the Air Defense Stadium before their team's premier league match with ENPPI, triggering the deadly stampede.
In response to the statement, head of Cairo’s police investigation service Mohamed Qassem said the officers were doing their job and applying the law in the face of riots, stressing that many of the fans did not hold tickets for the game and refused to be searched before entering.
“Had the police let the mobs in without a search, a bombing could have occurred inside the stadium leaving many dead,” said Qassem. “Had they lit up fireworks and caused damage to the stadium, the Interior Ministry would have taken the blame for negligence,” he added.
Qassem went on to cite the forensics reports which said the deaths were caused by a stampede rather than by tear gas.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm