Egypt PM backs return of football fans to stadiums

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Tuesday 13 May 2014

PM Ibrahim Mahlab favours a scheme for fans to attend matches during the mini-league stage of the season

Cairo International Stadium
Cairo International Stadium (Photo: Ahram)

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab has backed the return of football fans to the stands during the final phase of the season.

A crowd-ban has been imposed on domestic games since the February 2012 Port Said stadium massacre that left 72 Ahly fans dead.

After a meeting with Egyptian Premier League (EPL) clubs last month, the interior minister agreed to allow fans back to stadiums during the mini-league phase of the season.

The minister also stressed that there should be communication and coordination between the clubs and their supporters.

Clubs agreed to make a list of their supporters and each fan will have to show his identity card and be searched when entering the stadium.

Mahlab backs fans return, solves financial issues

On Monday night, Mahlab held a meeting with Egyptian Football Association (EFA) officials and club presidents to find solutions to a number of issues.

"Mahlab offered full support to Egyptian clubs and agreed to back their suggestions to get the fans back into the stands starting from the mini-league," EFA spokesman Azmy Megahed told Ahram Sport.

"The prime minister also agreed to postpone the due dates for clubs' taxes and debts until 2016, and to allow clubs to market their TV rights individually starting from next season," he added.

On 2 May, FIFA agreed to allow the Egyptian Premier League to play its final phase in June, despite conflicts with this summer's World Cup.

The Egyptian Premier League divided its current season into two groups, with the winners and runners-up in Groups A and B qualifying for the final mini-league.

There are two weeks left to determine which four teams will qualify for the mini-league.

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