Egypt

Zamalek Ultras remember February stadium deaths with new song

The Zamalek Sports Club’s hardcore fan group has released a new song documenting the February catastrophe that left 20 group members dead in clashes with security outside a military-run stadium in Cairo.
 
“This is for the 20 Zamalek martyrs who died at the hands of police during the Air Defense Stadium Catastrophe. It relates what happened inside the death pathway on February 8, 2015,” read the group's introduction to “Open Up We’re Dying”, the latest release by the Ultras White Knights (UWK).
 
“Open up, we’re dying were his last words, they broke the silence”, read a couplet of the song. “You guard a stadium with weapons of intimidation, we're the Ultras, keep that in mind, your suppressive state won’t make you any good.”
 
Clashes broke out shortly before a premiere league match between the Zamalek and ENPPI football teams. While the Interior Ministry said the fans did not hold tickets for the game and blamed the deaths on a stampede, the UWK accused police of indiscriminately firing tear gas at supporters crammed inside a narrow stadium gateway.
 
On Saturday, a Cairo court accepted a lawsuit by Zamalek’s chief, Mortada Mansour, which demanded Ultras groups be banned across the republic for involvement in incidents of violence.
 
The groups, which began in 2007, have been at loggerheads with consecutive authorities that have taken over following the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. They were active contributors to the uprising that toppled the former president.
 
In February 2012, 72 Ultras al-Ahlawy fans, supporters of Egypt’s top al-Ahly soccer club, died in a stampede in Port Said Stadium while escaping a massive attack by opposing fans.
 
 
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm
 
 
 
 

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