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HomeSportsEgypt League suspends 3,000 Al-Ahly fans for insulting Zamalek player Shikabala

Egypt League suspends 3,000 Al-Ahly fans for insulting Zamalek player Shikabala

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Three thousand Al-Ahly fans have been suspended for two games for shouting “insults” against Zamalek and Egypt player Shikabala during the team’s last game against Pharco, the Egyptian Football Premier League (EPL) said on Sunday.

Even though league leaders Al-Ahly were not playing Zamalek on Friday, their three thousand fans in attendance – which is the maximum allowed for any team during a domestic soccer match – vented their anger towards midfielder Shikabala in what has been a long-running saga of insult trading.

Al-Ahly were also fined 20,000 Egyptian pounds ($650) for the incident.

The EPL also suspended 2,021 Ismaili supporters and 874 Ittihad fans for shouting insults during their matches against ENPPI and Smouha respectively on Friday.

“If the insults are repeated fans will be banned from attending league matches until the end of the season,” the EPL said in a statement on Sunday.

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Egypt allows a maximum of 6000 fans to attend any domestic soccer match, with each team’s allocation capped at 3000, since the 2012 Port Said Stadium disaster in which more than 70 Al-Ahly fans were killed and several hundred were injured.

The only exception is for international fixtures featuring the national team or games organised by the African Football Association (CAF).

The ticketing system in the country requires fans to provide identification when purchasing match tickets, which makes it easy for the authorities to track down attendees and if required suspend them.

“The league’s dream is to have fans to the full capacity of the stadiums and we made great efforts to increase the number of fans. We don’t want anyone to spoil these efforts,” EPL president Ahmed Diab said.

“We punish only the wrongdoers and those who break the rules, and the punishment is not collective,” he added.

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