Zamalek hardcore fans 'Ultras White Knights' retracted their decision to attend Saturday's African Champions League game at Cairo's Petrosport Stadium to avoid possible confrontation with security forces.
"We decided to cancel the scheduled gatherings to attend the Union Douala match to avoid any new bloody confrontation with security forces," Ultras White Knights said in a statement released via their official Facebook page Saturday.
The die-hard fans of Cairo giants Ahly and Zamalek vowed to attend Saturday's African Champions League games in Alexandria and Cairo respectively despite repeated warnings from the interior ministry.
With the death of more than 20 Zamalek supporters last year still fresh in memory, there were widespread worries over another deadly stand-off when Ahly host Angola's Recreativo do Libolo in Alexandria and Zamalek take on Cameroon's Union Douala in Cairo in the second leg of Round 32 of the prestigious tournament.
Egyptian Premier League games are already played behind closed doors, but such crowd bans are not permitted by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Consequently, Ahly and Zamalek said the few hundred who would be allowed to attend their respective matches Saturday must be general assembly members, drawing sharp rebuke from Ultras Ahlawy and Ultras White Knights fan groups.
"We offered many solutions through the past three years but nobody cares," Saturday's statement added.
Security officials are playing it safe by imposing a crowd ban in domestic matches, which was re-enforced after more than 20 Zamalek supporters died in a stampede after being tear-gassed by police forces while attempting to enter Cairo's Air Defence Stadium before a league game on 8 February 2015.
Since then, the fans of Ahly and Zamalek have consistently pressed for the ban to be lifted, but in vain.
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