Al-Ahly and Gabon's CF Mounana match in the African Champions League match on Tuesday - Egypt Today- Karim Abdel-Azizi
CAIRO - 23 April 2018: Ultras Ahlawy, the group of youngsters who support Al-Ahly club, announced on their official page on Monday that they will stop their activity indefinitely.
This came after the Ultras posted a long statement at the beginning of April requesting that President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi release its members who have been detained in cases related to riots and smashing stadium seats. They also said in the same statement that they are taking steps to prove to the state their good behavior and their intentions for the upcoming period.
The Egyptian National State Prosecution ordered on March 2018 the imprisonment of eight members of Ultras Ahlawy for 15 days pending investigations over accusations of committing riots during a football game at Cairo Stadium.
Ultras fans have been associated with a cycle of violence since the outbreak of the January 25 Revolution in 2011. Members of both the Ultras White Knights (Zamalek fans) and Ultras Ahlawy were handed prison sentences over charges of enticing violence and protesting against security forces. They were also engaged in clashes with the police.
In October 2017, a military court sentenced three members of the Zamalek football fan club to 10 years in prison and acquitted four others held over charges of illegally protesting in 2013.
A ban was imposed on fans attending matches since the deadly clashes that took place in February 2012, which killed dozens of fans in Port Said. Later demands to overturn the decision were only met with a limited scope.
Fans are banned from domestic matches but permitted to attend teams’ games at African competitions and national team games at the World Cup and African Cup of Nations’ qualifiers.
In order to stop any potential violence, security authorities should approve the location of domestic matches and the number of fans attending.
Egypt has many sports clubs, with the most famous being Al-Ahly and Zamalek. Zamalek’s Ultras association is known as the “White Knights”. Both clubs have more than 2.3 million fans, according to their official Facebook pages.