File Photo: Football fans before entering stadiums: Egypt (Photo: Al-Ahram)
The Egyptian parliament’s Youth and Sports Committee will hold a meeting following the Eid holidays to discuss allowing football fans to return to the stadiums after four years of suspension, the committee head Mohamed Farag Amer was quoted as saying by MENA on Thursday.
"The return of football fans to the stands is the most important issue for the Youth and Sports Committee in the parliament as the members won't stop their efforts until reaching an agreement to allow them to appear in the stadiums again," Amer said in a statement on Thursday.
"More Youth and Sports Committee members called me before the Eid holidays to confirm that they have more suggestions to allow fans to return to the stadiums as well as avoiding any riots in the stands," he added.
Egypt banned crowds from football matches after the deadly Port Said stadium disaster in February 2012 when over 70 Ahly fans were killed in post-match violence.
In February 2015, the ban was partially lifted but was then immediately re-imposed after another deadly incident when 20 Zamalek fans died in a stampede at Cairo's Air Defence stadium.
A minimal number of fans were recently allowed to appear in the stands during team games in the CAF Champions League games as well as for Egypt national team games for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
"We will listen to the members' suggestions during the meeting and will then hold another meeting with the attendance of the interior and sports ministers alongside the Egyptian Football Association boss Hany Abo Rida to take a decision about fans return to the stadiums," the Youth and Sports Committee boss concluded.
Early last month, Egypt’s Sports Minister Khaled Abdel-Aziz announced that the new Egyptian Premier League season for 2016/2017 would start in September without the attendance of fans for the fourth straight year.
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