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Ultras Ahlawy attack EFA headquarters, issue warning

Ahly fans storm Egyptian Football Association HQ, hurling firecrackers at building while protesting resumption of domestic football activities with 'justice not yet delivered for Port Said disaster victims'

Hatem Maher, Wednesday 5 Sep 2012
Ultras Ahlawy
Ultras Ahlawy (File Photo: Ahram)
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Escalating their protests, Ahly’s hardcore fans (Ultras Ahlawy) have stormed the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) headquarters and warned officials to stay away.

Around 400 supporters hurled firecrackers at the building in Al-Gezira district, Cairo, before invading it. They also stole some trophies as their dispute with Egyptian authorities over their handling of the Port Said notorious saga turned violent.

"Our message is sent; no one goes to the EFA headquarters," the group said Wednesday in a statement on its official Facebook page.

Ultras Ahlawy has also called on its members to go to Mohamed Mahmoud Street, off the iconic Tahrir Square, which witnessed violent clashes between protesters and police in November 2011 and left more than 40 dead.

Response

One Ultras Ahlawy member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Ahram Online that the attack came in response to a controversial statement made by EFA spokesman Azmy Megahed early on Wednesday.

"My message to those who oppose the league resumption is: if you can do anything to stop it, just do it," Megahed told reporters after the draw for the 2012-2013 season was made.

The group also stormed the ground where Ahly held their training session Tuesday, holding aloft banners rebuking their own players and the club's board of directors for agreeing to take part in Sunday’s Super Cup game against ENPPI, the annual season curtain-raiser.

The new moves came as the Egyptian Premier League draw took place Wednesday morning, defying a warning by Ultras Ahlawy. The ardent group of supporters insisted it would not allow the resumption of domestic football unless the perpetrators of February’s Port Said disaster – which left over 70 Ahly fans dead – are brought to justice.

The tragedy occurred when thousands of Masry fans confronted Ahly's visiting contingent following the end of an ill-tempered league game on the first of February.

Masry were initially banned by the EFA for two seasons but the sanction was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upon the coastal club’s appeal.

However, Masry eventually agreed not to take part in the league next season due to the sensitivity of the issue.

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