Posted: Thursday July 26, 2012 4:32PM ; Updated: Thursday July 26, 2012 4:32PM

Sports court lifts ban on Port Said football club

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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.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
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