Authorities backtrack on security for Egypt football season opener

Eslam Omar, Thursday 6 Sep 2012

New football season thrown in doubt after Alex Security Directorate reverses decision to provide security for Sunday's Egypt Super Cup between Ahly, ENPPI

Port Said
A picture from Port Said Stadium after the 1 February massacre (Photo: Reuters)

The Alexandria Security Directorate on Thursday reversed its earlier decision to provide security for the 2012-2013 football season opener, the Egypt Super Cup between Ahly and ENPPI, slated for Sunday.

The directorate's decision came on the heels of Thursday's attack on Egyptian Football Association (EFA) headquarters by hundreds of young men believed to be members of the Ultras Ahlawy, hardcore Ahly fans.

Hundreds of fans protested against the resumption of domestic football activity on Wednesday, hurling firecrackers at the EFA building in Cairo's Al-Gezira district before storming it. They demanded "justice for the martyrs" of February's Port Said stadium disaster before the resumption of domestic football competitions.

The Egyptian Premier League is set to kick off on 17 September – following a seven-month stoppage – after the EFA held its draw Wednesday.

All Egyptian domestic football was frozen after the Port Said tragedy, in which more than 70 Ahly supporters were killed following clashes with rival Masry fans after a league game.

Nine senior officers and three Masry officials are among the 73 people to have been charged in the ongoing case. Some of the defendants face charges of murder, while the accused officers have been charged with assisting the attackers.

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