A year ago one of the larger tragedies in the sport of soccer occurred. Dozens died, more than a 1000 were injured, much less importantly the Egyptian League is still shut down.
There are some things the deserve our attention despite them not being about the Sounders, nor about the Puget Sound and only tangentially about America. The Port Said stadium riot is one of those things. If you are looking for Sounders talk click away. This issue is about a bit more than that for me. I am too connected to the Arab world to ignore this first anniversary, this time to remember.
It was not a soccer event. It was a tragedy where people hid behind the sport to exercise political terror. Dozens died with the number 74 being "the" number, though various outlets have a different number attached. Sadly, this week, when the verdict came down condemning 21 to death for their role in the riots another 30+ died. The tragedy continues to this day.
And today, more riots are expected. Political tensions are still high. The Egyptian economy is still poor. It is a nation still trying to find a way to recover from its revolution and more-so from the 30+ years with Mubarak in charge.
There is no release available because league play is still suspended. But there is a bit of hope and it comes from an American. Bob Bradley is in charge of the national team and doing fairly well. There is a chance that he gets the Pharaohs to the 2014 World Cup. He is the man who stayed.
The next World Cup qualifier is in March, when Egypt will play Zimbabwe at home. By then, the Egyptian League is supposed have resumed - the new Egyptian Football Federation recently announced the league fixtures, with the 2013 season scheduled to commence on February 2nd. However, with Egypt currently in a state of disarray after the partial verdict was announced, violence has spread and Ultras fan groups are protesting across the country. No one can say for sure whether or not the league will go ahead, and Bradley may well continue to have to try and do his job under chaotic circumstances.
Bob Bradley is offering a little bit of sporting hope when so much else is bleak. So, today, partially because of my personal background and partially because I grow weary I want to help something minor happen.
I've never attempted to get anything trending on twitter before, but tomorrow is the 1-year anniversary of Port Said. #rememberthe74— Jeff Bradley (@JerseyJBradley) January 31, 2013
Take a moment and Remember the 74. Retweet that or send another tweet, or just bow your heads and think that one year ago today several dozen people went to watch soccer and never went home.