The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has partially upheld the appeal filed by the Egyptian club Al-Masry against the Egyptian Football Association in relation to the tragedy of Port-Saïd which occurred in February this year. On 24 April 2012, the EFA Appeal Committee issued a decision in which Al-Masry was sanctioned following incidents which took place during the match between Al-Ahly and Al-Masry on 1 February 2012. Pursuant to such decision, Al-Masry was banned from participating in any EFA events for the season 2012/2013 and was relegated to the second Egyptian league for the season 2013/2014 with fans excluded from attending both home and away matches. Furthermore, Al-Masry was banned from holding any games in its stadium (the Port Said Stadium) for four calendar years.
On 17 May 2012, Al Masry filed an appeal against the EFA Appeal Committee decision at the CAS. The case was referred to a Panel of three arbitrators. The representatives of Al-Masry were heard at a hearing at the CAS Court Office on 20 July 2012. The Egyptian Football Association chose not to participate in the CAS procedure.
On 23 July 2012 the Panel issued its decision that the appeal has been partially upheld and the new decisions in place are as follows:
- Al Masry may participate in EFA events for the season 2012/2013;
- Al Masry's demotion to the second Egyptian league for the season 2013/2014 is annulled;
- While spectators are banned from Al-Masry's home games for the next complete season, they are able to attend away matches, with the exception of the next four games against Al Ahly which shall be played without fans on neutral playground which shall be at a distance of 200 km from Cairo or Port Said;
- Al-Masry remains banned from holding games in the Port Said stadium for four calendar years;
- In the event that Al Masry completes part of its sanction during one or several seasons which get interrupted, such partial enforcement shall be deducted from the next complete season which shall be played.
The full arbitral award, with the grounds for the Panel's decision, will be notified to the parties in due course.