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

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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid