CAIRO: Egypt’s national team will donate the revenues from three friendly matches in Qatar to victims of the Port Said stadium disaster
Aid donations already pledged following the tragedy in which 74 fans died and hundreds were injured have included $150 000 from the African football confederation and $250,000 from world governing body.
The latest move was confirmed by Samir Adly, the national team’s managing director. He said: “Our head coach Bob Bradley took that initiative. All the revenues will be donated to the families of the victims as a sign of solidarity with the families of the victims.
“It also highlights the role the national team should play in supporting the fans who sacrificed their lives for the sake of football.”
Bradley had personally donated $60,000.
Egypt’s worst football disaster occurred on February 1 after thousands of spectators from the Al-Masry stands stormed the pitch at the Port Said stadium to attack visiting Al-Ahly supporters at the end of a league game.
All domestic league competition was suspended, the board of the Egyptian federation was later sacked by the government and several days of street unrest followed in Cairo over allegations about security service involvement in the tragedy.
The national team had been due to play friendly matches against Kenya tomorrow, Niger on Wednesday and Congo on Friday at a training camp in Cairo. This was called off for security reasons and the matches will be restaged at short notice in the Gulf state which will host the 2022 World Cup and whose main city, Doha, is bidding to stage the 2020 Olympic Games.
Earlier this month, American coach Bradley donated LE60,000 and world governing body FIFA paid $250,000 into a charity account opened by Ahly.
Last week Al-Ahly players held a minute’s silence on returning to training for the first time since the Port Said disaster. The resumption of training had been delayed while players received counselling.
Coach Manuel Jose, who had flown home to Portugal immediately after the incident and had doubted whether he would return, wore a black armband as he led training. Uncertainty remains over the futures of stars such as Mohamed Barakat, Mohamed Abou-Treika, Emad Meteab and Sherif Ekramy who had threatened to quit football unless they saw culprits brought to justice.