26 Zamalek fans released on bail

Tuesday 19-07-2016 07:23 PM

An Egyptian flag flutters at the High Court of Justice in Cairo November 1, 2011. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany

CAIRO, Jul 19 (Aswat Masriya) – A Cairo prosecution ordered on Tuesday the release on bail of 26 Zamalek supporters arrested during Mamelodi Sundowns match riots.

Clashes had erupted between security forces and a number of Zamalek fans at Petrosport Stadium in Cairo, which hosted Zamalek match against South African Mamelodi Sundowns in the African Champions League group stage on Sunday. The game ended in a 2-1 defeat for the Egyptian side.

The defendants, who reportedly belonged to Ultras White Knights group, were accused of protesting, stirring up chaos and assaulting members of the security forces.

The fans, released on bail of EGP 1000 each, denied charges brought against them, saying that security forces arrested fans randomly after a number of attendees threw water bottles at the police.

There's a history of animosity between the security forces and hardcore football fans, which led to frequent confrontations between the two groups.

Almost all football games in Egypt have been held behind closed doors since February 2012 when 72 Ahly fans died in clashes in Port Said Stadium.  

In 2015, an Egyptian court banned the hardcore football fan groups known as Ultras and labelled them as terrorist organisations. 

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