Football death sentences prompt deadly riots in Port Said

The father of an Al-Ahly fan who was killed in Port Said celebrates with fans in Cairo
The father of an Al-Ahly fan who was killed in Port Said celebrates with fans in Cairo Photo: Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters

An Egyptian court sentenced 21 people to death for their role in one of the world's deadliest incidents of football violence, prompting an attempted jailbreak and a riot that has killed 22 people, according to state media.

The riot broke out in the Meditteranean port city of Port Said, home to the majority of the defendants. ITV News Reporter Jonny Blair reports:

Last year's Port Said football disaster is the worse incident of football violence in Egypt and the deadliest worldwide in 16 years.

More than 100 people were injured and 74 people were killed after a match between Al-Amasry, the home team in Port Said, and Al-Ahly, Egypt's top team, based in Cairo.

Read More: February's riot 'like a war'

Families of those killed in the massacre cheered in court as the judge read out the sentence.

The judgement was read live on state TV, and the remaining 52 defendants will be sentenced on March 9.

Families cheer after the 21 defendants were sentenced to death. Credit: RTV

Supporters of the defendants stormed the jail and attempted to free them, gunshots were reported and state media said two policemen were shot dead.

Violence quickly erupted across the city as football fans and supporters of the defendants clashed with police.

Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the crowd, killing six people. The Egyptian military moved into the city. General Ahmed Wasfi told Reuters:

It has been decided to deploy some units to work for calm and stability and the protection of public establishment"

In Cairo Al-Ahly fans celebrated outside the club's stadium. The fans, known as Ultras, had been threatening violent reprisals on the streets if the defendants were not given the death sentence.