Zamalek Ultras call for 'revenge' protests

Ahram Online, Wednesday 9 Oct 2013

Tension anticipated ahead of World Cup playoff as Zamalek fans intend to avenge death of fan on 'decisive' Saturday

Zamalek Ultras
23 September Clashes between security forces and the Ultras members at Zamalek headquarters (Photo: Yasser Al-Ghoul)

Zamalek die-hard fan club, the Ultras White Knights (UWK), called on members to escalate protests after the death of a member in clashes with security forces last week.

"Ultras White Knights call all Zamalek fans and all who believe in freedom and human dignity to gather on Saturday in Sphinx square at 3pm to avenge the death of Amr Hussein," according to a statement published Tuesday on the UWK Facebook page, which boasts around 400 thousand fans.

Amr Hussein, a member of the UWK, died in hospital on Monday, after sustaining a gunshot wound during September's clashes between group members and security forces.

The Ultras stormed the club's headquarters on Thursday 23 September, following a protest demanding changes to the club's leadership, after the football team's failure to qualify for the CAF Champions League semi-final.

They reportedly torched a number of buildings inside the club, which is located in the Mit Okba district close to Mohandeseen.

Clashes occurred between security forces and Ultras, resulting in several injuries and arrests.

The call for Saturday's protest, which is widely expected to turn violent, came on the same day that the Ghanaian Football Association (GFA) requested FIFA move the World Cup playoff against Egypt, scheduled for 19 November, to a neutral venue as a result of security concerns.

Ghana, due to host the Pharaohs on Tuesday, explained their fears over playing in Egypt, with reference to recent clashes and the death of UWK member Amr Hussein.

Under the guidance of head coach Helmy Toulan, Zamalek has won only two out of six games this year, losing in three and drawing in the other.

UWK members have demanded the resignation of team chairman Mamdouh Abbas and head coach Toulan for "failure in club leadership," following the team's inability to qualify for the CAF Champions League semi-finals.

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