Fear and loathing in Egypt: The fallout from Port Said

Story highlights

Chaos erupted in Egypt after 21 people were sentenced to death following a football riot

More than 70 people died after match in Port Said between local club Al Masry and Al Ahly

Egyptian league was suspended and has yet to restart due to threats of further violence

Verdicts for 52 other defendants who were arrested after riot is expected March 9

The faces of more than 70 young men and boys bore down on the crowd of thousands outside Al Ahly’s training complex in Cairo.

As many as 15,000 members of the Ahlawy, the organized ultras fan group of Egypt’s most popular soccer club, had gathered here early for the news they, and the country, had been waiting almost a year to hear.

At 10 a.m. a judge was to deliver a verdict on one of the darkest moments in the history of the game.

It happened on February 1, 2012, when more than 70 – those young men and boys whose faces now appear on a billboard high above the entrance of the club – lost their lives after a match in the Mediterranean city of Port Said, against local club Al Masry.

Most of the dead were crushed when the Al Masry fans stormed the pitch.