16 Mar 2012

Charges laid over Egypt stadium disaster

10:13 am on 16 March 2012

Prosecutors in Egypt have ordered 75 people to stand trial for causing the country's worst football stadium disaster.

Seventy-four fans were killed and at least 1000 people injured during a pitch invasion in a match between two top-tier teams in Port Said.

The pitch invasion occurred when Port Said-based team al-Masry beat Cairo's Al Ahli, the most successful club in Africa.

Witnesses say steel doors at the stadium were bolted shut, trapping fans trying to escape from the stands and dozens were crushed to death.

Many fans blame the government for a failure to send enough police to the stadium, given the tense build-up to the match.

Among those to stand trial is the head of security in Port Said.

A parliamentary inquiry blamed both fans and poor policing, and the head of security was fired.

State television said nine those to stand trial were police officers. Two were minors who would be tried in a juvenile court.