Egypt's Ahly apologises to police and army for 'fans offence'

Eslam Omar , Sunday 27 Dec 2015

Abdel-Aziz Abdel-Shafy
Ahly's football sector director Abdel-Aziz 'Zizo' Abdel-Shafy (Photo: Ahram Sport)

Egyptian club Ahly held a press conference to apologise to the police, armed forces, and their former leader Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawy, for offensive statements made by fans.

"We [Ahly] apologise to the men of the armed forces and we appreciate their role," the club's football sector director Abdel-Aziz 'Zizo' Abdel-Shafy said during a press conference.

"Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawy has endured a lot and we ask him to add forgiveness to his great deeds," Zizo added.

Ahly fans had raised signs considered offensive to the army and police in the wake of the Port Said stadium disaster, which left 72 Ahly fans dead following a league game with Masry.

The club's apology came following Ahly’s recent stadium crisis, after army-owned Air Defense stadium refused to host their last two games in the Egyptian Premier League against Haras El-Hodoud and Wadi Degla.

"We must reconsider the relationship between the club and security forces," he concluded.

These statements are expected to invite a strong backlash from fans and their hardcore group Ultras Ahlawy UA07, who antagonize the police and armed forces.

Some consider Tantawy himself responsible for the death of 70 members, which occurred in Port Said as he, the SCAF head, was leading the country following the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.

The Ultras Facebook page, which comprises more than 1.1 million, has been making posts recently about their casualities, attracting attention on social media.

Ahly’s current board, led by Chairman Mahmoud Taher, is haunted after failing to win a major tournament last season for the first time since 2014.

Even the eligibility of the board is being questioned after Cairo’s administrative court decided to dissolve it, accepting a lawsuit launched by two general assembly members nullifying last elections occurred in 2014 due to procedural failure.

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