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“There were people dying in front of us,” he said. “It’s over. We’ve all made a decision that we won’t play soccer any more. How will we play soccer after 70 people died? We can’t think about it.”

Hesham Sheiha, a health ministry official, said most of the deaths were caused by concussions, deep head wounds and suffocation from the stampede. He said 40 people were in serious conditions and undergoing surgery.

In an interview with the team’s station, Mohammed Abu Trika, a player with Al-Ahly, criticized police for standing by and not intervening in the violence.

“People here are dying and no one is doing a thing. It’s like a war,” he told the team TV station. “Is life this cheap?”

Egypt’s state prosecutor ordered an immediate investigation into the violence, and the Egypt Football Association ordered an indefinite suspension of the league games. The parliament said it would convene an emergency session.

The two sides also traded conspiracy theories, with each side blaming the other for trying to destabilize the country.

Essam el-Erian, a Brotherhood lawmaker, said the military and police were complicit in the violence, accusing them of trying to stop critics demanding an end to state of emergency that give security forces wide-ranging powers.

“This tragedy is a result of intentional reluctance by the military and the police,” he said.

The manager of the Al-Masry, Kamal Abu Ali, announced he also was resigning in protest.

“This is not about soccer. This is bigger than that. This is a plot to topple the state,” he told the same station, using an often-cited allegation by the military against protesters.

It was the deadliest incident of soccer violence since Oct. 16, 1996, when at least 78 people died and 180 others were injured in a stampede at a stadium in Guatemala City before a World Cup qualifying match between Guatemala and Costa Rica.

State TV appealed to Egyptians to donate blood for the injured in Port Said, and the military sent two aircraft to evacuate serious cases to the capital, Cairo.

The Port Said game was a face-off between two teams with a long history of fierce competition, Al-Masry, the home team, and Al-Ahly. Al-Ahly was runner-up for the Asian club title in 1986, its best finish.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said he was “shocked and saddened” by the deaths.

“This is a black day for football. Such a catastrophic situation is unimaginable and should not happen,” he said in a statement.

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