Egypt's Premier League cancelled

Al Masry fans run after Al Ahly players
Fans of Al Masry chase Al Ahly players during the riot that erupted after the match between the two teams in Port Said on 1 February

The 2011/12 Egyptian Premier League season has been cancelled in the wake of last month's disaster which claimed 74 lives.

The decision was announced by the Egypt FA in Cairo on Saturday.

EFA spokesman Azmy Megahed said the season will not resume because there is not enough time to play the games before the national team begins training for the 2013 African Cup qualifiers and this year's London Olympics.

But Megahed said that 18 teams will play in a friendly tournament in empty stadiums to raise money for the families of those killed in the violence.

The friendly competition known as the 'Martyrs Cup' will be held from 29 March to 18 May.

But the event will not feature Al Masry, whose home match against Al Ahly ended in Egypt's worst football tragedy.

As the match ended in Port Said on 1 February, fans flooded onto the pitch attacking Al Ahly players and fans.

Seventy-four fans lost their lives and more than 150 were injured, some of them seriously.

Egypt announced three days of national mourning and the domestic championship has been in limbo since.

The country's top clubs were not too keen to see the league called off completely but the lack of security assurances from the Interior Ministry left them with no choice.

It is the fifth time that Egypt's domestic competition has been cancelled.

The 1954/55, 1970/71, 1973/74 and 1989/90 campaigns were also axed for various reasons.

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