Egypt Sports Minister promises fans return in Egypt Cup
Egypt Sports Minister Khaled Abdel-Aziz discussed the return of fans to stadiums and assured that the start will be during Egypt Cup.
Recently, as Al Ahly defeated Mounana in the CAF Champions League, riots broke out between a part of Al Ahly fans who were attending the game at Cairo Stadium and security forces and a number of the club’s supporters have been arrested.
“We need to divide this issue into three parts,” the minister told ON Ent TV channel. “The first part is the part related to national team matches, and thankfully, in all games played by the national team, we managed to host a big number of supporters. Borg El Arab stadium hosted about 70,000 spectators.”
“The second type of games are the games played by a few Egyptian clubs like Al Ahly, Zamalek, Misr El-Makkasa and Al Masry in African competitions,” he added. “In these matches, we allow a specific number of fans to attend the games and things were going well regarding this option.”
The minister then referred to Al Ahly final matches in the CAF African Champions League, in addition to a final match for Zamalek in the same competition where about 50,000 fans were hosted.
“We have to agree on one thing here, which is that when speaking about the Premier League’s matches we are talking about nine matches played two times a week concurrently,” Abdel-Aziz explained. “It is hard for security forces to be present during all these matches, that’s why we need supporters to help them.”
Abdel-Aziz illustrated and talked about two matches played in Portsaid stadium where 10,000 fans were hosted in the first match and 15,000 in the second. He said that the stadium’s full capacity will be used for their next game.
“We were hoping that the same would happen with Al Ahly’s last game against Mounana, but for some reasons, things did not work well. However, this does not mean that Al Ahly will not be able to host fans.”
The Red Devils are set to face Tunisia’s Esperance Sportive de Tunis in the Champions League group stage in May. Abdel-Aziz said that fans will be present but that the match will not be played in Cairo Stadium.
“For the third part, which is a local one, we had an agreement to allow a number of fans for Egypt Cup games. This will be applied first in Al Ahly and Dakhleya clash.”
As for dealing with Ultras fans group, Abdel-Aziz pointed out that to him it’s a case that he failed at and wished he was able to resolve.
“We made good efforts for solving this issue, but apparently this will need more time. We will not lose hope and have new approaches that we wish goes well,” he explained.
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