The leaders of the Ultras Ahlawy, the hardcore fan group for Cairo’s Ahly football club, announced plans to hold a protest in front of the Sports Ministry Tuesday against the Premier League football season.
The ultras’ call comes in response to a demonstration staged by former and current footballers and media personalities on Monday demanding that sports activity be resumed following a months-long hiatus after the Port Said massacre.
According to state-run newspaper Al-Ahram, former Ahly goalkeeper Ahmed Shobeir organized and led the protest in front of the Sports Ministry on Monday. Shobeir is a former member of the dissolved National Democratic Party.
On 1 February, 74 people were killed and hundreds injured when Port Said’s Masry supporters stormed the pitch after a rare victory over Ahly.
Ahly fans and their supporters say it is unacceptable that the football season resume before the perpetrators of the massacre are punished. The Port Said Criminal Court is currently hearing a case in which 75 people are charged with responsibility for the deaths, including the former head of security in Port Said, three of his aides, police officers who were working security at the match, and some Masry Club fans.
In a statement on Facebook, the Ultras Ahlawy invited its members as well as any Egyptian who supports their cause to gather in front of the Tarsana Club in Mohandiseen Tuesday to march to the Sports Ministry, where they will begin protesting at noon to reject the return of Premier League games until the trial is over and to demand corruption be purged from the sports sector.
The group noted that they have no problem with lower football divisions holding games and only call for the postponement of the Premier League season.
“Sports activity will not be resumed, especially the Premier League, regardless of pressure, until retribution has been achieved,” one of the group’s leaders said.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm