January 3 – An Egyptian court has sentenced 28 fans to jail for one year for paying tribute to those killed in the infamous Port Said disaster five years ago, accusing them of incitement.
Judicial and security sources said the 28 Al Ahly club fans wore T-shirts bearing messages “offending the state and inciting rioting” during a match in October against Tunisian club Etoile du Sahel.
The T-shirts were meant as a tribute to the 74 victims of the Port Said tragedy in 2012 involving fans of arch-rivals Al Ahly and Al Masry, the deadliest football-related disaster in the country’s modern history which triggered anti-government protests.
Reports from the match said that Al-Ahly fans unfurled a banner insulting Al-Masry fans who in turn attacked the Al-Ahly supporters. Panic ensured as fans tried to flee the stadium only finding that the local security forces had locked the gates making escape impossible. Many of the dead were crushed by fans trying to escape while others fell or were thrown from terraces, witnesses said at the time.
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