Football fans of Egypt's Ultras Ahlawy deny involvement in clashes at Friday's protests

Hatem Maher, Saturday 10 Sep 2011

Ahly’s hardcore supporters (Ultras Ahlawy) deny being involved in Friday’s clashes in front of Egypt's interior ministry, Israeli embassy and Giza police station

Ultras Ahlawy

Ultras Ahlawy, whose presence in Friday’s protests in Tahrir was heavily felt, denied on Saturday being involved in clashes outside the interior ministry, Israeli embassy and Giza police station.

Three people have died and 1,049 injured after clashes erupted on Friday night and lasted until the early hours of Saturday.

It was not known whether the offenders, who stormed into the building of the Israeli embassy and entered consular offices before throwing out documents, belonged to certain political groups, given that most youth movements distanced themselves from the violence.

Some people pointed the finger at Ultras Ahlawy, who decided to take part in Friday’s demonstrations in Tahrir Square after 15 of its members were detained in the wake of clashes with police following a low-key Egyptian Cup game last week.

“Ultras Ahlawy denies any involvement in what happened in front of the Israeli embassy, interior ministry and Giza police station,” the under-fire group, which was founded in 2007, said on its Facebook page.

“A man called Ahmed Mostafa, who claimed that he is a member in Ultras Ahlawy, spoke to Al Jazeera TV today and said he participated in the incidents, but we stress that he does not belong to us.”

Ultras Ahlawy, who were joined by Zamalek’s Ultras White Knights in a rare sign of solidarity between two bitter foes in domestic football, were seen chanting offensive songs against the interior ministry minutes after joining the fray in Tahrir.

Tens of youths then hurled stones at the interior ministry premises nearby but Ultras Ahlawy insisted they had nothing to do with the riots.

Short link: