Egypt Independent

Football fans not welcome at upcoming matches



Sports Minister Al-Emary Farouq announced all local, Arab and African championship football matches will be played without spectators, after fans damaged a stadium belonging to the Armed Forces during an Ahly game earlier this week. Fans also chanted obscene slogans.

Farouq, a former board member of the Ahly Football Club, said he made the decision to ensure public safety and avoid putting public installations at risk.

This means upcoming Ahly and Zamalek club matches in the African Champions League, and the Ismaili and ENPPI clubs in the African Confederation Cup, will all be played without fans in the stands.

The Ahly Club, the country’s best team, was fined LE500,000 for the damages its fans, who are known as the Ultras Ahlawy, caused to the stadium. It is also expected to be penalized by the Confederation of African Football.

A projectile landed near the Kenyan goalkeeper moments before Ahly’s Emad Moteab scored the second goal, to which the visiting team objected. The match was nevertheless resumed, with Ahly winning 2-0 and 4-1 on aggregate to qualify for the knockout round.

Ismaili Club fans also clashed with police after their team lost the Arab Federation Cup qualifier last week.

Only a limited number of Egyptian fans are allowed to attend matches held abroad.