The casualty toll has risen from 29 to 32 following clashes between football fans and security forces at Borg Al-Arab stadium on Wednesday, Egyptian Ambulance Organisation (EAO) said in an official statement.
EAO medical respondents treated 22 fans in front of the stadium and transferred 10 others to a nearby hospital in Amerya, according to the statement. “The numbers are still preliminary,” the statement read.
Security forces fired teargas at a group of fans attempting to enter the stadium without tickets and the resulting gas led to their suffocation, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Interior. “They were persuaded to leave. Instead, they insisted to enter which cause police to fire teargas at them,” the ministry said in a statement.
Football fans have been banned from attending matches for year due to purported security issues. The Wednesday match between Al-Ahly SC and Tanzania’s Young Africans garnered a large supporter turnout as it was fans’ first return to stadiums since February 2015.
At the time, 22 Al-Zamalek SC fans died in clashes with security forces at the Air Defence stadium. On 8 February 2015, before the league game between AL-Zamalek and Enpi, 20 fans were killed trying to enter the stadium after being sold tickets.
According to Al-Zamalek’s Ultras White Knights (UWK), police forces shot teargas at fans as they were attempting to enter the stadium to attend a match last Sunday. The fans suffocated and died as a result, while the UWK called the police violence an “intentional massacre.”
In a televised statement following Wednesday match, Abdel Aziz Al-Shafy, the head of football sector at Al-Ahly, said that fans’ return to stadiums impacted the players negatively.
Egyptian sporting authorities did not take the necessary precautions ahead of supporters’ return, according to Al-Shafy. He called their claims of preparedness, “lip-service.” Security must regulate fans’ entrance and exit process in accordance with European standards.