ZURICH: FIFA president Sepp Blatter has described the Port Said football disaster in Egypt (separate report) as a “black day for football” in a message of condolence and support to the country’s football association.

The world football federation issued a statement from Zurich says it was “deeply saddened by the tragic incidents which led to the death of football fans and others,”  requested a full report on the incidents and noted its “strict safety regulations” and guidelines for all competitions.

In a personal letter to Samir Zaher, president of the EFA, Blatter hints at the wider concerns over the underlying causes of the tragedy.

He said: “I would like to join your country and the football family in mourning the deaths of the dozens of Egyptian football fans and others at last night’s match in Port Said. My thoughts are with the families of all those who have lost their lives and I fully understand the country’s shock and anger that such a disaster has come to pass.

“Today is a black day for football and we must take steps to ensure that such a catastrophe never happens again. Football is a force for good and we must not allow it to be abused by those who mean evil. As discussed by telephone this morning I await further news from you concerning the circumstances of this tragedy. As always FIFA stands by your side at this difficult time and is ready to provide you with any support you may need.”