Ahly, Zamalek fined for fans' insulting chants

Hatem Maher, Wednesday 18 May 2011

Cairo duo are penalised for supporters' behaviour at Premier League games as Egyptian football experiences tense times

Zamalek fans

Cairo giants Ahly and Zamalek were fined LE15,000 each after their fans repeatedly chanted offensive songs during this week’s Egyptian Premier League games.

The competition committee of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) also hit Zamalek with an additional LE10,000 fine after their fans directed laser beams at Smouha players during the White Knights’ 3-0 victory on Sunday.

Zamalek fans hurled insults at Ahly players towards the end of the game and amateur video caught winger Mahmoud Abdel-Razek ‘Shikabala’ chanting an anti-Ahly song after the final whistle.

The Red Devils’ supporters replied one day later when their team defeated Wadi Degla 2-1, as Shikabala and Zamalek coach Hossam Hassan faced a barrage of insults from the ardent Ultras group.

Shikabala was involved in similar controversy last year but escaped unpunished after Ahly opted against filing a complaint against him with the EFA .

Tensions have risen between bitter foes Ahly and Zamalek since the league resumed following a lengthy break due to the popular Egyptian revolution that ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year authoritarian rule.

Zamalek, who are aiming to end a league drought stretching back to 2004, have a one-point advantage over defending champions Ahly at the top of the table.

Ismaily, whose hopes of winning the first league title since 2002 suffered a major blow following a stunning 1-0 loss to relegation-threatened Arab Contractors, and struggling outfit Ittihad of Alexandria were both handed hefty fines for crowd trouble.

Ittihad will have to pay an LE40,000 fine after their fans lit firecrackers, clashed with police personnel and attempted to invade the pitch following the team’s goalless draw with Gouna.

Ismaily will pay LE35,000 after their supporters threw stones onto the pitch.

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