Soccer Riot Death Sentences Confirmed; Fans Torch Soccer Federation

CAIRO (March 9, 2013)--An Egyptian court Saturday confirmed death sentences given to 21 people for their roles in a deadly 2012 soccer riot that killed more than 70 people in the city of Port Said and sentenced city's the former security chief, Maj. Gen. Essam Samak, to 15 years in prison.

But the court acquitted seven of nine police officials on trial for their alleged role in the deadly stadium melee last year.

Most of those condemned to death are fans of Port Said's Al-Masry club.

Fans of Cairo’s Al-Ahly club stormed Egypt's soccer federation headquarters Saturday, setting it on fire in anger over the acquittal of the seven police officials.

Fire also swept through a nearby police club, but it was not immediately clear whether Al-Ahly fans were responsible for that blaze as well.

Heavy black smoke billowed out of the rose-colored, three-story neocolonial building in central Cairo.

The Feb. 2012 riot, Egypt's worst soccer disaster, followed a league game between Al-Masry and Cairo's Al-Ahly, with Port Said supporters setting upon the visiting fans after the final whistle.

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