Source: The Tahrir Institute For Middle East Policy
Author(s): Karim Medhat Ennarah
On February 8, 2015, at least 19 fans died while waiting to enter the Air Defense Stadium for the match between Zamalek and ENPPI – it was the first Egyptian league game to allow spectators, albeit a small number, after a three-year ban that was put in place in the wake of the Port Said Stadium disaster which left 72 dead in February 2012. The Air Defense Stadium deaths were caused by a human crush that resulted from the police firing teargas into the very tight entrance where fans were packed before the start of the game. But was the tragedy triggered by a sudden surge in crowds, as the police claimed, or did political vendettas and heavy-handed policing practices have a bigger role to play?
The history of football stadium disasters is a long one – the complex nature of the environment make football games prone to such accidents. The slightest slip-up can cause a crushing stampede of spectators, and there are plenty of things that can go wrong, from engineering failures and structural collapses to overcrowding coupled with poor safety and emergency measures…
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