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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb, 2, 2012

Al-Ahly coach considering future

Al-Ahly coach Manuel Jose returned to Portugal to ponder his future as speculation continued about the circumstances surrounding the violence that left more than 70 of the club's fans dead.

Death toll rises to 74 after Egyptian football riot

• Army blamed after riot
• Clashes leave at least 73 dead

Al Masry fans invaded the pitch after a surprise 3-1 win over the Cairo club in Port Said on Wednesday night, with as many as 79 people reportedly killed in the ensuing violence.

Home fans reportedly armed with sticks and knives stormed the field after the final whistle. Reports suggest some Al-Ahly fans suffocated, trapped in a narrow corridor as they fled the violence.

There is anger among some who feel the security forces and police did not to enough to intervene, a claim backed up by Al-Ahly assistant coach Pedro Barny, and there have been repercussions in the sporting world too, with all football fixtures called off by the authorities, while Al Masry president Kamel Abu Ali has resigned, according to reports.

Jose, meanwhile, retreated to his native Portugal to recover. He told the club's official website: "I was beaten with fists and kicks to the neck, head and feet."

He was eventually taken to the dressing room, he said, adding: "There I saw our fans die before us and we are unable to do anything.

"Nothing happened to any of the players but we feel overwhelming sadness and the return flight was made in silence, full of respect for the lives of our fans who died."

He continued: "I have to think about my life differently now. Although everybody loves me greatly here, this experience has changed my life completely."

Assistant coach Barny added: "What happened was an unspeakable catastrophe. From the beginning of the game, the fans of the opposing team were allowed to fire rockets and stones at us without any intervention.

"In the end, it turned into a state of madness without any role for the security in the stands. We tried to save the lives of some of the fans, but many died before our eyes."

A statement on the site confirmed Jose was returning to Portugal.

It added: "Jose is going through a bad psychological situation after the events of Port Said and requested a special meeting with [club] president Hassan Hamdi Al-Ahly."

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