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Egypt's Ahly, Zamalek incur wrath of own supporters

The hardcore fans of Ahly and Zamalek furious at their own clubs for different reasons

Ahram Online, Tuesday 17 Sep 2013
Ultras Ahlawy
Ahram File Photo: Ultras Ahlawy, a group of ardent Ahly fans

Cairo giants Ahly and Zamalek were on the receiving ends of angry outbursts from their own fans on Tuesday, with both sets of supporters keen to demonstrate their growing influence in affecting the clubs' paths.

Ahly maintained their Cairo derby dominance with a convincing 4-2 victory over arch-rivals Zamalek to reach the African Champions League semis on Sunday and there was a sense of a festive atmosphere when they held their first training session following the game on Tuesday.

However, the night turned sour when Ultras Ahlawy, the main group of Ahly's ardent fans, made their resentment clear after the players declined to respond to their supportive chants.

Ahly's rookie coach Mohamed Youssef consequently cancelled the training session as tensions grew between Ultras Ahlawy and the players despite a recent fine run for the Red Devils.

The notorious group was also criticized by local media for recent fan troubles which forced Ahly to play three Champions League games behind closed doors.

The latest crowd disturbance came in a home game against Congo's AC Leopards, when a brawl between rival fan groups led to a 30-minute delay of kick-off in the Red Sea resort of El-Gouna last month.

Zamalek also came in for fierce criticism from Ultras White Knights after a dismal Champions League run came to an end when they lost to Ahly, extending their winless Cairo derby streak to 16 matches.

The defeat left them languishing at the bottom of Group A with four points from five games as they waved goodbye to the competition they last won in 2002.

Ultras White Knights listed several demands in a Facebook statement following the defeat by Ahly, including the dismissal of the entire board of directors. They also said they would nominate an interim board to manage the club until new elections are held.

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