CAIRO: The presidency offered condolences to the families of those who were killed Sunday evening during a football game between Zamalek and Enpi clubs in the Air Force Stadium of Cairo in a Monday statement.
At least 22 Zamalek fans, the Ultras White Knights, were killed and 25 other injured when security forces fired tear gas bombs at a stampede of fans; the Ministry of Interior said Sunday that hundreds had attempted to forcibly access the stadium without tickets.
“The presidency sadly offers its condolences for the victims of the incidents that took place in the vicinity of Air Force Stadium yesterday evening, which led to the death of some of Egypt’s devoted sons,” the presidency office stated.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said he was following the latest developments of Air Force Stadium incidents with the concerned ministers, and called for investigations into the incidents as quickly as possible.
The Zamalek club administration announced a three-day mourning for the fans’ death, giving its condolences for the victims’ relatives. The Ministry of Youth and Sports decided to postpone the league march indefinitely.
Zamalek club head Mortada Mansour told Reuters Monday the fans were killed by “thugs,” ruling out that the Ministry of Interior had used bullets against the fans.
Zamalek Club sent a letter to the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) disclaiming any liability for the “riots.” The EFA, however, claimed that the club had received 10,000 tickets and that Zamalek withheld the tickets, since the fans who arrived at the stadium Sunday night did not amount to that figure.
Attorney General Hisham Barakat opened an immediate investigation into the incidents, summoning police officers who were in charge of securing and policing the stadium as well as a number of Zamalek fans, and confiscating the stadium security cameras.
On Feb. 1, 2012, 74 Al-Ahly club fans were killed in the Port Said Stadium during the intermission of a match between Al-Ahly and Masry clubs.