Reports indicate that fans of top clubs al-Masry and al-Ahly had taken knives into the stadium where they stormed the pitch after the final whistle, where al-Masry had run out 3-1 winners.
The Associated Press news agency quoted a morgue official as saying that some of the dead were security officers as a group of riot police did their best to protect the players before being overwhelmed.
Egyptian deputy health minister Hesham Sheiha has described the incident as the, “biggest disaster in the country’s football history”, while al-Ahly player Mohamed Abo Treika added: “This is not football. This is a war and people are dying in front of us.”
Al-Ahly fans, known as Ultras, have been responsible for a number of previous clashes with rival fans in the past and, according to reports, they took advantage of ineffective policing as a small number of security forces failed to cope with the thousands who rampaged inside the stadium.
Reports indicate that most of the deaths were caused by concussions, cuts to the heads and suffocation from the stampede.
Hani Seddik, who played for al-Ahly as a teenager, told the BBC: “I don’t think this is about football. These trouble-makers were not football fans.”
The Muslim Brotherhood, an emerging party in Egypt, have blamed supporters of ousted President Hosni Mubarak for the violence.
Muslim Brotherhood lawmaker Essam al-Erian said: “The events in Port Said are planned and are a message from the remnants of the former regime.”
Hani Seddik, former al-Ahly player added: “I think it’s more like some people were planning it.”
All premier league matches have been cancelled and the newly-elected Egyptian parliament will hold an emergency session on Thursday.