06 May 2013 09:00
Tears in the eyes, rocks on the ground, and blood on the pavements - as injustice prevails.
On the 1st of February 2012, Port Said stadium witnessed the biggest catastrophe in Egypt's recent history, in a match between Cairo's al-Ahly club and Port Said's al-Masry club. Under the auspices of the police, 72 football fans from al-Ahly's biggest fanclub 'Ultras Ahlawi' were slaughtered in the stadium that day by paid thugs and football fans from Port Said city.
Contrary to protocol, police did not search al-Masry fans, who wielded knives, swords, stones, and fireworks. As clashes broke out towards the end of the match, police forces did not intervene. Instead, they withdrew from the stadium, welded the doors, and turned off the stadium lights. In the meantime, Ultras Ahlawy were being chased, stabbed, choked, and thrown off grandstands.
"It was a nightmare. I had to cover myself with my friend's blood to escape the thugs who were chasing me," said Ahmad Sabry, who witnessed the death of his childhood friend.
Most of the fans killed in the stadium were between the age of thirteen and twenty. The massacre took place within a twenty-minute frenzy.
This massacre happened against the backdrop of an ongoing vendetta between the police and Ultras Ahlawy, that has manifested itself in repeated clashes since the group's inception in 2007. Many believe that the police orchestrated this massacre to retaliate for the humiliation suffered a the hands of the Ultras, who fiercly fought off the police during the 2011 Egyptian revolution.