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Ahly fans storm training ground to protest league return

The die-hard Ahly fans stormed the session in anger at the scheduled start of the Egyptian league despite the lack of progress in prosecuting those responsible for the Port Said massacre

Hatem Maher, Tuesday 4 Sep 2012
Ahly’s hardcore fans storm
Fans of Egypt's Al-Ahly known as "Ultras" shout at Egyptian police during their African Champions League (CAF) soccer match aginst Tunisia's Esperance Sportive de Tunis (E.S.T ) in Cairo Stadium September 16, 2011.(Photo: Reuters)
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A number of Ultras Ahlawy, hardcore fans of Egyptian football club Ahly, invaded the pitch where the team was holding a training session on Tuesday, forcing its cancellation and casting further doubts over the possibility of starting the Egyptian Premier League next month.

The fans held aloft banners opposing any plans to hold the league, which was cancelled last season in the wake of violence at a Masry Ahly game in Port Said in February which left more than 70 Ahly fans dead and hundreds injured.

The angry fans also hurled a barrage of insults at the club’s players and board of directors, whom they believe have not exerted enough effort to pressure Egyptian authorities into punishing the culprits of Egypt’s worst-ever football tragedy.

They also demanded that Ahly withdraw from Saturday’s Egypt Super Cup match against ENPPI.

The Ultras Ahlawy said recently that they would not let the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) resume the league unless the Port Said massacre perpetrators are brought to justice.

A number of Masry fans and security officials are currently facing trial over charges of premeditated murder and negligence respectively, but none has been convicted so far.

The fans' action might force the EFA and the interior ministry to re-think their plans to allow the first official domestic matches since the events occurred.

The die-hard Ahly fans did not specify the actions they would take if the EFA went ahead with its plans.

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