News / Africa

Analyst Says Egyptians Blame Military for Soccer Violence

Demonstrators take part in a protest condemning the killings that happened on Wednesday at Port Said stadium, in front of the parliament in Cairo February 2, 2012.
Demonstrators take part in a protest condemning the killings that happened on Wednesday at Port Said stadium, in front of the parliament in Cairo February 2, 2012.

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Said Sadek, a professor of political sociology at the American University in Cairo

TEXT SIZE - +
Peter Clottey

An Egyptian scholar said Egyptians are outraged over Wednesday’s stadium violence that left at least 74 people dead and hundreds injured following a soccer match in the northern city of Port Said.

Said Sadek, a professor of political sociology at the American University in Cairo, said a majority of the people blame the military administration and security agencies for failing to prevent the violence.

“When this happened, there is this conspiracy that the police are taking revenge against the ultras [fanatical sports fans].  It was like a war.  Why did this happen and why was security lax?”  asked Sadek.  “The demonstrations and activities on social networks put the blame on the police and the army.”

Tens of thousands of Egyptian protesters have demonstrated in Tahrir Square, while others marched to the nearby Interior Ministry where riot police fired tear gas to keep them away.

Egypt's military-appointed Prime Minister, Kamal al-Ganzuri, said the government fired the board of Egypt's soccer federation and suspended Port Said's governor and security chiefs in response to the disaster, one of the deadliest in the history of the sport.  He announced the actions at an emergency parliament session.

Many groups, including members of parliament who held an emergency meeting, have demanded an investigation into Wednesday’s stadium violence.  The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), the world authority soccer organization, also underscored the need for an investigation into violence at the stadium.

But, Sadek says it is unlikely to have an unbiased inquiry into the stadium tragedy.

“We don’t have any independent investigative team…so, you will see a cover up.  Most of the regimes in the Middle East, like in Egypt, are police intelligence states and they are very fit [able] in covering up evidence and covering their tracks,” continued Sadek.  “That’s why there is a lot of suspicion about what is happening.  For example, the trial of [Mr.] Mubarak; some consider that a mockery, a charade just to appease the public.”

Analysts say the ultras played a pivotal role in the Arab Spring that forced longtime President Hosni Mubarak to step down.  Sadek said many Egyptians are suspicious the failure of security forces to prevent the violence was an act of vengeance following the recent pro-democracy uprising that forced Mubarak to step down.

“We have seen in the state-run media that all those who took part in the revolution are being punished and discredited,” said Sadek. “The lack of transitional justice in the country is creating tension.  People are becoming irritably violent.  They just feel nothing is happening and that, despite the revolution, the forces of conservation and anti-revolution are gaining the upper hand, and they want to suppress the people.”

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid