Egypt's most popular club Ahly condemns anti-state chants by fans

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Monday 1 Feb 2016

Ahly fans
Ahly fans light flares inside the club's training stadium, on the 4th anniversary of the 2012 Port Said massacre in Cairo, February 1, 2016 (Photo: Ahmed Hassan/Ahram Sport)

Egypt's most popular club Ahly condemned anti-state chants made on Monday by its supporters during the commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the 2012 Port Said disaster.

Thousands of Ahly fans were allowed on Monday to enter the club headquarters to pay tribute to the 72 Ahly fans who died at Port Said stadium following deadly clashes with rival Masry supporters in February 2012.

The fans – believed to be hardcore supporters of the club 'Ultras Ahlawy' – chanted against former defence minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the country's de facto ruler at the time of the disaster who they hold partially responsible for the deaths.

"Ahly's board highly regards the club's martyrs of the Port Said massacre and the fans who always stand by the team to achieve glories and victories in different eras," the Cairo giants said in a statement.

"But at the same time, the board totally renounces the insults by some of the club fans against any of the state institutions, which enjoy full respect from Ahly management and fans."

Also on Monday, Ahly president Mahmoud Taher decided to ban fans from attending training sessions in the future.

"What happened from paid thugs aims mainly to hinder the return of fans to attend matches in the stadiums," Taher told TV station Sada El-Balad.

"The interior ministry should arrest these mercenaries," he added.

Seventy-three defendants, including nine police officers, were initially charged in the killing of Ahly fans in Egypt's worst-ever football tragedy.

After protracted legal procedures and a long appeal process, an Egyptian court sentenced 11 people to death, including one in absentia, in the retrial of the massacre case in June 2015.

Another 10 defendants received 15-year sentences, 15 received 10-year sentences, and 15 received five-year sentences. One defendant received a one-year sentence while 21 were acquitted.

The defendants were found guilty of premeditated murder and the attempted murder of Ahly fans, thuggery, vandalism, theft and show of force. 

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Search Keywords:
Short link: