CAIRO – An Egyptian court has handed down death sentences for 21 people accused of taking part in soccer violence last year that killed 74.
In the courtroom, families of the deceased wailed in disbelief and raised their hands in the air shouting "Allahu Akbar", Arabic for God is great.
The judge said in his statement read live on state TV that he would announce the verdict for the remaining 52 defendants on March 9.
Among those on trial are nine security officials. The soccer melee on Feb. 1, 2011 between Port Said's Al-Masry fans and Cairo's Al-Ahly fans was the world's deadliest soccer violence in 15 years.
As is customary in Egypt, the death sentences will be sent to a top religious authority, the Grand Mufti, for approval.