Chairman Anwar Saleh of the Egyptian Soccer Federation said Thursday that games in the country's premier league will return to activity without fans in the stands, following the recent riot in Port Said in which 74 people died and more than 1,000 were injured. He told the Ahram Sports magazine, "Renewal of the league is essential in many circles, so I think the clubs would not object to play the games without their fans."
Saleh added that the gradual return of live customers depends on the results of investigations into the incident. He was appointed provisional chairman of the association until elections expected to take place soon after the previous management was sent home by the Prime Minister Kamal Al-Ganzuri. A parliamentry committee blamed fans and police this week for the Port Said riot, but partially agreed with allegations that they were orchestrated for political reasons.