Egypt's Ahly to impose three-year ban on fans charged with crimes relating to clashes at Mounana match
Ahmed Abd El Rasoul, , Monday 12 Mar 2018

Ahly have officially decided to impose a three-year ban on individuals who will be charged with crimes relating to the clashes that erupted with security forces on Tuesday at Cairo Stadium during the football match between the Reds and Gabon's CF Mounana in Cairo.

"Our duty is to deliver the clubs' principles to the fans. What happened at the stadium isn't related to the club values at all. Ahly is club of principles before being a club of trophies," Ahly president Mahmoud El-Khatib in a speech broadcast by Ahly TV channel on Monday.

Egypt's prosecutor-general ordered on Thursday the High State Security Prosecution to investigate the clashes, which broke out near the end of the African Champions League round of 32 game.

Ahly won the first leg match 4-0.

"Our main principle is that Ahly is above all. What happened is against the interest of Ahly, its fans, members and also the board," the chairman explained.

"A few people interfered with our great supporters and did these shameful acts. They wanted us to return back to the past years that witnessed the team playing behind closed doors."

Some in the media have blamed the incident on hardcore football fan club Ultras Ahlawy, who said in a statement on Facebook that an “irresponsible minority" was responsible for the clashes.

The group added that it did not want the issue to be “used in a political way.”

"The board made a great effort and held many meetings with government officials to get the fans back to Cairo Stadium that witnessed before Ahlys' trophies and the joy of its supporters," said El-Khatib.

"I've know Ahly fans well for over 50 years. The club supporters are always committed to the rules. I am sure that those who did the riots aren't among Ahly great fans," he said.

"We have plans for building an international stadium for Ahly fans who are always feared by all African opponents, but unfortunately few group wanted to spoil the scene," he concluded.

After a meeting of the Ahly board on Monday, El-Khatib confirmed that those who are to be charged with crimes in the Mounana match incident will be banned from attending the club's activities for three years.

The board also ordered the legal affairs sector to follow the investigation to provide support for those who were not involved in the clashes.

It also decided to put forth a contract with a private security company to secure the club's next matches.

Forming a special committee to work on improving secure ticket sales way was also a decision by Ahly board.

Football fans have been banned from domestic league games in Egypt since February 2012, when over 70 Ahly supporters died in clashes between fans at Port Said Stadium.

The crowd ban was briefly lifted in January 2015, but swiftly re-imposed after 20 Zamalek fans died in a stampede when police used tear gas to disperse crowds lined up to attend a regular league game against Enppi.

In the past five years, authorities have permitted a limited number of fans to attend African games and national team matches, as per FIFA rules.

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