Interior Ministry to allow fans into African Champions League match

The Interior Ministry agreed on Wednesday to allow spectators into the 4 November African Champions League match between Ahly and Tunisia’s Esperance, at the Borg al-Arab Stadium in Alexandria with spectators.

It would be the first time that spectators were allowed into a football match since the Port Said massacre last February when the government suspended all local sports activity and prevented spectators from attending international matches held in Egypt.

Ahly played most of its African League games in empty stadiums as a result of security measures taken by the Interior Ministry.

The privately-owned Al-Shorouk newspaper said the ministry informed the Ahly Club of its approval for spectators in a letter tonight. The Korabia sports site said ministry officials are negotiating with the Ahly Club over number of fans that would be allowed to attend.

The Sports Ministry had supported the request that the club sent to the Interior Ministry for fan attendance. “This would benefit all Egyptian sports, not just the Ahly Club,” said Sports Minister Al-Emary Farouq.

The beginning of the local football season has been postponed twice since it was halted indefinitely following the Port Said violence. Ahly fans have since been protesting against the Egyptian Football Association’s plans to resume the competitions before justice is achieved for the victims.

Ahly qualified on Sunday for the final of the 2012 CAF Champions League after defeating Nigeria’s Sunshine Stars 1-0 in Cairo. The team won its ticket to the final with a 4-3 aggregate victory over the Nigerian side.

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