Zamalek to contact authorities over detained fans

Hatem Maher, Saturday 9 Jul 2011

Zamalek seek release of fans arrested following crowd trouble in a league game against Wadi Degla

Zamalek fans

Egyptian football club Zamalek said Saturday they would contact authorities to release fans arrested after clashing with security personnel during the 1-1 draw with Wadi Degla in the Egyptian Premier League on Thursday.

A brawl erupted between the few thousand spectators who attended the match at Cairo Stadium and police forces for a few minutes before the start of the second half. The reason of the clash is unknown.

Angry fans hurled stones and bottles at policemen, two of whom were injured, while Zamalek were 1-0 down. The clashes continued outside the stadium amid growing tensions in domestic football.

Around 18 men from Zamalek’s hardcore following were arrested.

“Chief Executive Alaa Mekled has been authorised by the club to contact the authorities to end that problem,” Zamalek said in a brief statement on their official website.

Crowd trouble in Egypt has been common since the resumption of the domestic league following January’s popular revolution that ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year authoritarian rule.

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) is being widely criticised in the local media for handing out "lenient punishments" for culprits.

Zamalek failed to end a seven-year league drought despite opening a six-point lead over Ahly at the halfway stage of the season. The Red Devils eventually clinched a seventh consecutive title with one match to spare after crushing already-relegated Arab Contractors 5-1 on Thursday.

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