After a six-year ban, the Egyptian Professional Clubs Association announced on Tuesday, 12 October that with the kickoff of the Egyptian Premier League on 25 October, football fans would be permitted to attend football matches again.
According to Al Masry Al Youm, the President of the Egyptian Professional Clubs Association, Ahmed Diab, announced a new agreement with Egypt’s Ministry of Interior to allow fans to attend matches in person and support their teams again.
Diab added that 1,000 fans will be allowed to enter per team, meaning that stadiums will host 2,000 spectators in total each match.
“If it were not for COVID-19, this decision would have taken place last year as the committee has been working towards it for a long time,” said Mahmoud Hussein, Head of the Youth and Sports Committee in Egypt’s House of Representatives in a press release on Wednesday, 13 October.
Fans of the Egyptian Premier League have been barred from attending their teams’ matches since the massacres that took place after the match between Al-Ahly SC and Al-Masry SC in Port Said in February 2012, resulting in 74 deaths and over 500 injuries.
After a brief return of the fans a year after the initial ban, another massacre took place after a match between Zamalek SC and ENPPI SC in the Air Defense stadium, resulting in 22 further deaths, and a return of the ban. Since then, most football matches in Egypt except for several National Team matches and international tournaments have taken place in the absence of fans.
This news comes as a welcome change to the millions of enthusiastic football fans in Egypt that have waited years to chant in support of their favourite teams.