At the end of a fierce match in Port Said, Egypt between rival soccer teams, al-Masry and al-Ahly, fans from both sides erupted in fighting and set part of the stadium on fire. Witnesses say the event got tense when supporters of the home team were insulted by an al-Ahly banner. After al-Masry won, it cascaded into a frenzy that security could not contain. Egyptian police report that numerous fans had knives in hand, and many died from concussions, deep cuts to the head, and suffocation from the stampede.
Another match was halted in Cairo after the news of violence in Port Said; that in turn led fans there to set parts of that stadium on fire. Sepp Blatter, the president of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), issued a statement saying, “This is a black day for football. Such a catastrophic situation is unimaginable and should not happen.” All premier-league matches are cancelled and the newly elected Egyptian parliament will have an emergency session on Thursday.
Does this sound like a case of extreme sports passion or tension for the political problems of the country? Given our deep obsession with sports, could something like this happen here?