- Life Style
Supporters of Egypt’s two biggest football teams, Ahly and Zamalek, object to resuming football competitions, which have been stalled since violence in early February, the fan groups said in a statement Monday.
The Egyptian Football Association has indefinitely halted its Premier League competitions after 74 fans died in Port Said Stadium on 1 February. The deaths occurred when hardcore supporters of the home team, Masry, swarmed the pitch and attacked the guest fans.
In the weeks following the match, demonstrations in Suez and at the Interior Ministry in Cairo protested what demonstrators described as lax security measures during the match. At least 17 died during the demonstrations.
The Port Said incident stoked discontent with Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri’s cabinet and the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
Investigations are still underway to identify the perpetrators and to determine the role of security forces in the bloody rampage. Police services are widely believed to have been intentionally passive during the violence.
In Monday’s statement, Ahly’s supporters, known as Ultras Ahlawy, were joined by their arch rivals, the Ultras White Knights, in saying that those responsible for the Port Said events should be brought to justice. They urged for a transparent investigation into the incident.
“We will not accept offering a scapegoat to cover for the real perpetrator,” the fans said in the statement, published on Ultras Ahlawy’s Facebook page.
They said they will not accept resuming sports activities before achieving fair retribution and releasing political detainees.