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Zamalek fans to challenge crowd ban

Ultras White Knights – Zamalek's hardcore supporters group – say they will defy the crowd ban at Tuesday's match with Talae El-Gaish

Ahram Online, Tuesday 7 Jan 2014
Ultras White Nights
Ultras White Nights (Photo: Ahram)
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Zamalek's hardcore supporters, Ultras White Knights, have reiterate their intention to attend Tuesday's match against Talae El-Gaish – despite an ongoing crowd ban.

On Friday, the White Knights threatened to ruin the competition if their demand to return to the stands was not met.

The Egyptian Premier League kicked off last month after a period of uncertainty. The last two seasons were cancelled due to security concerns in the turmoil-stricken country.

The first half of the season will be held behind closed doors. Zamalek have already played two matches without their enthusiastic supporters, defeating Masry 2-0 before losing 1-0 to Ismaily.

"When will we return to the stands? We have had enough and we can no longer remain silent," the fans group said via Facebook on Friday.

"Shame on you. Down with your regime and government. Nothing will prevent us from returning to the stands, it's our right," they added.

On Monday, Zamalek issued an official statement asking fans not to attend matches to avoid the team being punished by the football association.

The group responded by insisting they would try to attend Tuesday's match regardless of the consequences.

"We will gather in front of the Air Defence Stadium at 3pm to attend the match," the White Knights said in a statement early on Tuesday.

"Football is a game related to fans and there is no place for capitalists or beneficiaries.

"Supporters must continue their pursuit of their right, while the tournament goes to Hell. Only God can stop us," Tuesday's statement concluded.

Egyptian authorities were lenient when enforcing a crowd ban last season, allowing the fans of Cairo giants Ahly and Zamalek to enter stadiums on several occasions. The supporters were also spared any punishment from the Egyptian Football Association (EFA).

However, according to the EFA regulations, a team is awarded a walkover win if their opponents' fans defy a crowd ban. The supporters will be given 15 minutes to vacate the stadium, otherwise the match will be called off.

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