Sports court lifts ban on Port Said football club
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) -- An Egyptian football club whose fans' riot killed 74 people after a match in Port Said this year was reprieved by sport's highest court on Thursday.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned Al-Masry's ban from football as it partially upheld the club's appeal against Egyptian Football Association sanctions.
"Al-Masry may participate in EFA events for the season 2012-2013,'' the court said.
Egyptian football was halted after the Feb. 1 violence, which caused the deaths of fans from Cairo-based club Al-Ahly. The league is scheduled to resume next month.
The deadly tragedy was linked to tensions following the downfall of state president Hosni Mubarak's regime last year.
CAS also lifted a compulsory relegation which the national football body tried to impose which would have sent Al-Masry to the second tier in 2013-14.
However, the court maintained severe restrictions on Al-Masry's fans.
"Spectators are banned from Al-Masry's home games for the next complete season,'' the court said.
Al-Masry also cannot play matches in the Port Said stadium for "four calendar years.''
Fans can attend all away matches except those against Al-Ahly, which must be played behind closed doors.
"The next four games against Al-Ahly ... shall be played without fans on neutral (ground) which shall be at a distance of 200 kilometers from Cairo or Port Said,'' the court said.
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