There are sports fans, and there are sports fanatics. The latter are extremists who will resort to violence and chaos regardless of whether their team is victorious or defeated. It is both sad and pathetic that such people will create destruction and harm innocent lives all in the name of sports.

This was exactly what happened back in early February when 74 fans were killed when a riot ensued following a football match. Dozens of rioters were arrested and are now facing charges for their role in the rampage. The defendants remained defiant during their first court appearance as they chanted in unison to proclaim their innocence. Their protest was countered by the victims’ relatives who held up pictures of their loved ones. The individual charges were read out, which ranged from negligence of violence to murder.

The football match that took place in February was between two rival teams: al-Masry and al-Ahly. Following al-Masry’s victory, its fans stormed the field and began assaulting al-Ahly fans. In the aftermath of the bloody event, rumors surfaced of the police force not doing enough to quell the incident. This led to more violent clashes that resulted in 16 deaths. It was reported that security officials failed to check for knives and other melee weapons as fans gathered into the stadium.

Some Egyptians believe that the tragedy was orchestrated in advance and was a retaliatory attack after al-Ahly fans took part in a revolution last year that resulted in the ouster of politician and military commander Hosni Mubarak.

Whether there was an ulterior motive for the riot or the fans simply acted in the heat of the moment, it is certainly the worst display of human behavior. It is truly disturbing that some people will act out in the vilest way possible over the results of a sports game.