Thousands descend on Tahrir Thursday to protest football disaster

Thursday 2 Feb 2012

Ahly's and Zamalek's football Ultras put aside rivalry to march on ministry of interior to protest security forces 'lacklustre' efforts during Wednesday's deadly disaster in Port Said stadium

Sphinx Square
Thousands of Egyptian soccer fans protest at Sphinx Square in Cairo (Photo: AP)

Thousands of protesters have started to gather in Tahrir Square in preparation for a a joint march callled by the hardcore football supporters – known as Ultras – of Cairo clubs Ahly and Zamalek, which is set to converge on parliament at 4pm.

Demonstrators are expected to voice their anger at what many see as lackluster efforts by Egypt's security forces in securing fans at last night's match between Ahly and Masry in Port Said, which left 71 dead and hundreds injured.

Ahly's Ultras Ahlawy have departed from their home stadium and joined Zamalek's Ultras White Knights on route to Tahrir Square, before marching on the ministry of interior together, along with various political groups.

In the early hours of Thursday morning, thousands of people gathered at Ramses train station in downtown Cairo to meet beleaguered Ahly fans arriving home from Port Said following the worst football tragedy in Egyptian history.

The People’s Assembly has convened an emergency session on Thursday morning to discuss the disaster. Many activists have used the tragedy to step up calls for parliamentarians to demand an immediate transfer of power from the ruling military junta to a civilian authority.

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