February 21 – The stadium where 74 people lost their lives in one the worst tragedies to hit world football in recent years has been selected as one of the six venues for this year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The Port Said stadium was closed for five years following the appalling scenes in 2012 that marred a high-profile fixture between Al Ahli and Al Masry. The stadium was renovated after the disaster and Al Masry were only allowed to return there last year.
Egypt, where the Confederation of African football (CAF) is based, inherited this summer’s tournament when Cameroon was stripped of hosting rights.
Other stadiums being used are Cairo’s international stadium – largely unused since the Arab spring – plus a military venue on the outskirts of the capital. The others will be in Alexandria, Ismailia and Suez but it is the selection of Port Said that will generate most debate given the terrifying scenes of seven years ago.
“We had initially proposed eight sites for the tournament but after an inspection by a CAF delegation, we chose only six,” said Egyptian FA spokesman Ahmed Megahed.
The organisers are yet to give details about which venue will host the semi-finals and final.
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