CAIRO, April 22 – Egypt canceled its soccer cup competition on Sunday after the Interior Ministry refused to secure matches in the aftermath of the country’s worst stadium disaster in February.
The top-flight league was already called off with 19 games remaining after 74 spectators died in the post-match violence in the city of Port Said at the end of a tense game between local team Al Masry and Al Ahly, Africa’s most successful club.
The trial of 61 men over the deaths was adjourned last week after a rowdy first session that was suspended briefly when dozens of defendants hurled abuse at the judge.
The Interior Ministry stated in a statement published by the Egyptian Football Federation that the Cup should be halted “considering the security circumstances the country is witnessing and until the procedures of the trial are completed”.
Egypt has two main soccer competitions, the Premier League and the Cup. Sunday’s cancelation means there will be no top-flight soccer events in Egypt for the remainder of the season. (Reporting by Osama Khairy; Writing by Dina Zayed, editing by Ed Osmond)
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