Football fans to return to stands February 2016: Egypt FA
Mohamad Mosselhi , Monday 9 Nov 2015
An official ban has been in place since Port Said Stadium massacre in February 2012, when over 70 fans attending a domestic match were killed


Football fans will be allowed to attend league games starting February 2016, announced Egyptian Football Association (EFA) manager Tharwat Swilam on Monday. as domestic games are set to be played behind closed doors for a whole year.

The crowd ban will be lifted "at the beginning of the second round of the Egyptian league," Swilam told the EFA official website.

The decision comes after Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail accepted the EFA's request to allow the fans to spectate league games, Swilam added.

The EFA board also met with Sports Minister Khaled Abdul-Aziz to "consider the matter on Monday. The meeting was very successful," Swilam said.

An official ban was issued by the Egyptian government following the Port Said Stadium massacre in February 2012, when over 70 fans attending a domestic match were killed in post-match violence. The ban has prevented audience attendance at all league matches for over three years.

Last February, the ban was partially lifted before it was immediately re-imposed after 19 Zamalek fans died in a stampede at Cairo's Air Defence Stadium last February.

Clubs have repeatedly called for an end to the crowd ban but Egyptian authorities have been reluctant to lift it.

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