Al-Ahly and fans hail courts verdict on Port Said match violence

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Egypt’s football club al-Ahly and its ultra-hardcore fans praised the country’s judiciary final verdict on the Port Said football match violence that killed dozens of al-Ahly supporters as “just,” a local newspaper reported Saturday.

Twenty one defendants, who were supporters of the Port Said-based al-Masry football club, were given death sentences for killing 71 of al-Ahly fans after a match between the two clubs on February 1, 2012.

“The court’s verdict was just and is considered a kind of ease to victims' families and club fans,” al-Ahram website reported al-Ahly board as saying in a statement.

However, the verdict against the remaining 52 defendants, accused of attacking and killing al-Ahly fans, was postponed till 9 March.

“We did our best during the whole last year to gather the evidence under the guidance of a high-profile law team in a bid to bring justice to the souls of our victims,” the statement added.

Thousands of al-Ahly Ultras, who are the hardcore supporters of the club, cheered and celebrated the verdict.

“Today was the start of justice but not in its entirety,” the hardcore fans of al-Ahly said via a statement on its official Facebook page. “The entire group members left the al-Ahly Club now. Glory to all martyrs.”

However, at least 27 people were killed, including two footballers and two policemen in Port Said on Saturday following the court’s ruling.

The two footballers, Tamer al-Fahla, former goalkeeper of the al-Masry team, and Mohammad al-Dadhwi who played for Port Said’s al-Mareekh team, were both killed during Saturday’s violence.

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