Ittihad fans storm pitch after last-gasp defeat

Hatem Maher, Wednesday 15 Jun 2011

Supporters of Alexandria's Ittihad storm the pitch after their side concede a stoppage-time goal against Wadi Degla on Wednesday

Ittihad fans

Tens of Ittihad fans stormed the pitch after their team suffered an eleventh-hour 2-1 defeat by Wadi Degla in Wednesday’s Egyptian Premier League match, reigniting security concerns in a country still reeling from the effects of the January 25 Revolution.

Supporters descended onto the pitch after Wadi Degla slotted in their second goal during stoppage time, dealing a major blow to Ittihad’s hopes of surviving relegation to the second division.

The angry fans clashed with security personnel and frantically chased Ittihad and Wadi Degla players who escaped into the tunnel.

The ugly scene was reminiscent of the violence which forced the cancellation of an African Champions League clash between Zamalek and Tunisia’s Club Africain in Cairo two months ago.

Alexandria’s most popular club Ittihad, likely to face heavy sanctions, are four points adrift of the safety zone with six matches remaining.

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) decided to resume the league in April following a lengthy break due to the popular uprising which toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.

They ignored calls to call off the competition after they were given security guarantees by the interior ministry which vowed to clamp down on hooliganism and riots.

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