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UPDATE: Ahly condemn own fans in strongly-worded statement

Ahly heavily criticize their own fans after 20 die-hard supporters forced the cancellation of Thursday’s training session, coach says he will mediate in the dispute

Hatem Maher, Friday 13 Jul 2012
Hossam El-Badry
Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry (Photo: Ahram)
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In an uncharacteristic verbal attack on their own fans, Ahly expressed their resentment after around 20 of the team’s hardcore supporters (Ultras Ahlawy) stormed the club’s training stadium on Thursday to voice protests over the club’s handling of the infamous Port Said disaster.

“The club is angry at the irresponsible action of some Ultras members, who stormed the stands and unfurled banners insulting the clubs, its officials and players,” the Red Devils’ general manager Mahmoud Allam said in a statement on their official website on Friday.

“Such insults are not compatible with behaviour of Ahly’s fans, who always stand by the team. Those unjustified actions occurred in a crucial time and disrupted preparations for an important African Champions League game,” he added, referring to the anticipated clash against arch-rivals Zamalek on 22 July.

“We hope those people will backtrack on their stance and help us in the Port Said case, especially that the club’s board did its best to preserve the rights of the martyrs and their families.

“We are sticking to our pledge of helping the martyrs’ families, whom we will meet on Sunday to inform them of all the measures the club took in the case.”

The angry fans even launched a rare attack on their own players, accusing them of “doing nothing but shedding crocodile tears” and “failing to even wear mourning armbands”.

The Port Said disaster led to the cancellation of last season’s Egyptian Premier League and forced an indefinite suspension of all domestic football activities. Since then, Cairo duo Ahly and Zamalek have had to play their home Champions League fixtures behind closed doors due to security concerns.

A number of security officials and Masry fans are facing trial over the disaster for crimes such as negligence and premeditated murder respectively.

Earlier on Friday, Ahly’s newly-appointed coach Hossam El-Badry said he would mediate in the board-fan dispute.

“I will talk with the fans to know their exact demands, after which I will talk with the club’s board,” El-Badry, who had to cancel Thursday’s training session, told Ahram’s Arabic Sports website.

“We want a rapid solution to that problem to avoid any tensions between the club and its fans. Whatever happens, the relationship between both must remain solid.”

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