Ultras assault Ahly Club players, demanding Port Said trial verdict

Some 200 hardcore football fans assaulted Ahly Club players as they trained at the Nasr City branch Sunday, while thousands of other protesters surrounded the club outside.

The fans, known as ultras, were demanding justice for those killed in violence at Port Said Stadium in February, when 74 were killed and hundreds more were injured after Ahly lost to the local Masry Club.

Their assault on the players expressed frustration that most of them have decided to play this season. The protesters oppose the football season beginning without a verdict in the Port Said trial.

Two weeks ago, the ultras threatened to storm Borg al-Arab Stadium in Alexandria, where the opening match of the Super Cup was played between Ahly and ENPI clubs. However, police managed to keep them away.

Before the match, some press reports on social media websites said that the Interior Ministry had asked nearby residents to chase away the ultras. This never happened, and the Interior Ministry denied the reports.

The ultras, historically suspicious of the Interior Ministry, accuse police of complicity in the Port Said Stadium violence, especially since investigations into the incident revealed that security leaders had been informed that clashes would take place but allowed the match to be played anyway.

The hardcore fans also blame the Ahly Club Board of Directors for failing to provide adequate legal assistance to the families of the victims.

The Port Said Criminal Court previously rejected a request submitted by lawyers of the victims’ families to change the court that was considering the case, which they deemed sluggish in its duties.

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