The Egyptian Football Association - How Worse Can Things Get?
Who would want to be the Egyptian Football Association? Without a doubt when it comes to having sympathy with a country's national soccer supporters, it has to be said the poor Egyptians have had to deal with the seemingly unimaginable and would have the hearts and minds of every soccer fan that ever lived.
Living in a democracy, it is hard to imagine some of the things that happen in some far off lands, never mind the ensuing consequences impinging on one's favorite game. Games being called off due to inclement weather is one thing, politics is quite different.
Everyone agrees politics and sport should be completely separate. Sport offers the opportunity to unite all countries with the likes of Soccer's European Championship and World Cup qualifiers and tournaments held every two years, not to mention the yearly Champions League and Europa Cup Football tournaments. It unites football supporters from every corner of Europe.
In 2013 for the second season in a row, The Egyptian Football Association had to cancel it's domestic league schedule. This time due to the civil unrest in certain parts of the country. The country's President Mohamed Morsi, had already been hoisted out from power which was soon followed by Egypt's Premier League being indefinitely suspended, even though the season was to be shortly concluded it was pre-empted with Zamalek and Al Ahly declared as champions, as they were both topping their respective leagues at the time.
As mentioned earlier, the 2012 season, had also been canceled. This was due to a tragic stadium occurrence in Port Said, Northern Egypt. Hundreds of spectators were injured along with seventy four who lost their lives. Upon the referee blowing for time, which saw away team Al Ahly lose 3-1 to rivals Al-Masry, the fans clashed. After a pitch invasion of rival supporters all hell broke loose. Terrified fans, fearing the worst, tried to flee the stadium, however the gates had remained closed during the riot leaving many with no way to escape only to be crushed in a vein attempt to avoid the surrounding riot.
Two high ranking police officials one being accountable for security, and the other who was in possession of the stadium gate keys, were both sentenced to prison for fifteen years, but this would be of little consolation for those that lost their loved ones.