Ahly fans used to target Zamalek star Mahmoud Abdel-Razek “Shikabala” during the Cairo derbies, hurling a barrage of insults at him that often prompted the talented winger to engage in heated exchanges with the die-hard supporters.
This is no longer the case.
At least 74 Ahly fans were killed and scores injured when Masry supporters invaded the pitch following the end of an Egyptian Premier League game last Wednesday in Egypt’s worst-ever football disaster.
In a sign of reconciliation following the disaster, Ultras Ahlawy, a group of Ahly’s hardcore fans, created a Facebook page named “We are sorry Shika”.
“I’m happy with that page,” the talented schemer, who is arguably Egypt’s best player, told Zamalek’s official website on Sunday.
“Despite the cruelty of what happened in Port Said, this disaster played a role in uniting the fans of all clubs. It might be a turning point in ending intolerance and hatred in Egyptian football.
“I will go to the Ahly club along with my teammates to offer our condolences to the families of Port Said martyrs,” he added.
Reports suggested that Shikabala has donated a large amount of his annual deal with Zamalek to the families of the tragedy victim. He remained tight-lipped when asked whether that was true during a rare appearance in a television show.
“The fans of Ahly are my brothers. I hope Ahly and Zamalek fans can sit together in the stands without barriers," he added.
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