Egypt’s football league postponed indefinitely

Joel Gulhane
2 Min Read
Al-Ahly supporters stoke up the atmosphere before a game. (AFP File Photo)
Al-Ahly supporters stoke up the atmosphere before a game. (AFP Photo)
Al-Ahly supporters stoke up the atmosphere before a game. (AFP Photo)

The resumption of Egypt’s premier league (EPL) has been postponed indefinitely. The board of directors of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) announced on Monday in a statement that the decision was taken after they received no response from the Ministry of Interior, having submitted a request for security clearance to resume the league.

The EPL was cancelled after the Port Said massacre in which 74 Al-Ahly supporters were killed.

The violence began after the home team Al-Masry beat Al-Ahly 3-1, when the final whistle was blown the Al-Masry fans stormed the pitch and attacked Al-Ahly fans and players.

Mohamed Saad, editor in chief of the Al-Ahly fans website said “we are confused about what has gone on, we are not sure when the league will start again. I hoped that it would start again because we cannot pay our employees’ salaries whilst the league is suspended.”

There have been no sentences passed down to those accused of the massacre as of yet and because of this Ultras Ahlawy, an Al-Ahly supporters group, have opposed the resumption of the league. Two weeks ago the Ultras protested outside the Ministry of Sport after it emerged that there had been appeals to the ministry to resume the league.

Saad stressed, “the other side of the argument is justice for the people who died in Port Said. They were our friends and family and we want justice for them.”

The trial of those accused of the deaths of the Al-Ahly fans at Port Said, including top security officials, is ongoing. Saad said, “hopefully the court cases will be over in two or three weeks and the league might start then.”

Previous to this season the league was cancelled four times for a variety of reasons.

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Joel Gulhane is a journalist with an interest in Egyptian and regional politics. Follow him on Twitter @jgulhane
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