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Egypt Now Permits More Fans at Football Stadiums

May 9, 2024
Photo Source: Wikipedia

The Egyptian Ministry of Youth and Sports announced on Wednesday 8 May a significant increase in spectator capacity for both local and African matches. 

The decision, reached during a meeting chaired by Ashraf Sobhy, Minister of Youth and Sports, signals a step towards a return to near-full capacity crowds and promises a thrilling experience for fans.

Representatives from the Egyptian Football Association, the Ministry of Interior, and other relevant authorities gathered at the new administrative capital to discuss the spectator capacity increase. 

The outcome of the meeting promises full stadiums during the African tournament semifinals and finals, and up to 30,000 fans at Cairo and Borg El Arab stadiums for local matches.

To ensure the safety of all attendees, new guidelines will be implemented to create a secure and pleasant environment for fans and enhance their overall experience.

The decision holds particular significance as Egyptian clubs Ahly and Zamalek recently had their respective Champions League and Confederation Cup matches. 

The increased capacity will then provide an even more exciting atmosphere for upcoming matches.

The upcoming CAF Champions League final second leg, scheduled for 25 May, will witness Ahly hosting Tunisian club Esperance at the Cairo International Stadium. 

Similarly, Zamalek will be facing off against Moroccan club RS Berkane in the Confederation Cup final second leg on 19 May at the same venue. 

Both teams stand to benefit from the passionate support of a home crowd as they strive for victory.

This announcement marks a gradual return to normalcy for Egyptian football fans, who have witnessed attendance restrictions over the past seasons. Beginning with a limited capacity of 6,000 spectators, the numbers gradually increased to 10,000 and then 20,000 for the current season. 

Egypt first implemented restrictions on attendance at Football games following the deaths of 75 people in February 2012 following a match between Al-Ahly SC and Al-Masry SC in Port Said as a result of clashes between fans. 

Although there was a brief period when fans were allowed back a year after the initial ban, another tragedy unfolded after a match between Zamalek SC and ENPPI SC at the Air Defense stadium, resulting in 22 more deaths and a reinstatement of the ban. 

As a result,for several years, most football matches in Egypt have been held without spectators, except for certain national team matches and international tournaments.

However, on 12 October 2021, after a six-year ban, the Egyptian Football Association made an announcement that limited numbers of fans would be granted permission to attend matches once again.

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