Egyptian court bans Ultras football fan groups

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Saturday 16 May 2015

Appeal court rules activities of Ultras fan groups illegal

Ultras Ahlawy
Riot policemen take their positions in front of fans of Egypt's Al-Ahly, known as "Ultras", during the team's African Super Cup soccer match against Tunisia's CS Sfaxien at Cairo Stadium February 20, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

An Egyptian court on Friday banned the hardcore football fan groups known as Ultras which support several of the country’s teams, judicial sources said.

The chairman of Zamalek football club, Mortada Mansour, had filed a case calling for the groups to be banned and listed as terrorist groups.

The case was rejected by a lower Court of Urgent Matters as falling outside its jurisdiction but on Saturday the Appeal Court of Urgent Matters overturned the initial ruling.

Ultras groups have maintained a tense relationship with the authorities over the past several years on and off the field, triggered by their involvement in anti-government protests since the popular revolt of 2011.

Mansour has been a regular target of the ire of Zamalek’s Ultras White Knights group.

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