11 sentenced to death after Port Said soccer violence

An Egyptian court has taken a step towards imposing the death penalty on 11 men for involvement in deadly soccer stadium violence in 2012

 

An Egyptian court has sentenced 11 men to death for their involvement in a 2012 football riot in the city of Port Said in which 73 people died and at least 1,000 were injured.

The sentenced which was announced on Sunday, April 19 however still requires the approval of Egypt's most senior religious authority, the Grand Mufti, and the men can also appeal, a process that may take several years.

"With the agreement of all members, the case will be sent to the Grand Mufti to give his Islamic opinion on the defendants' fate," Judge Mohamed al-Saeed Mohamed said, in a court session broadcast live on television.

In Egypt, the Grand Mufti's decision is not binding but referral is needed in order to impose the death sentence.

In February 2012, 72 of Al Ahly fans were killed at the end of a football game between Al-Ahly and Al Masry in the Egyptian Premier League at the Port Said stadium.

The case known in the media as the Port Said massacre is the worst disaster in the country’s illustrious football history.

Verdicts for the rest of the defendants is expected on May 30.

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