CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptian authorities will partially lift a ban on supporters at domestic stadiums, ending three years of league football being played in empty arenas, the country’s football association announced.
There had been a blanket ban on supporters following the Port Said riot on Feb 1, 2012, when 74 people were killed during clashes between supporters of the Al Masri club and the country’s most popular team, Al Ahli.
However, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) confirmed that from the start of the second round of the 2014-15 league season after the African Nations Cup finals in Equatorial Guinea, a limited number would be able to gain entry.
A total of 10,000 supporters will be able to attend games held in the larger Cairo and Alexandria venues, and 5,000 in smaller stadiums in the rest of the country.
Not all teams will benefit from the ruling as a complete ban will remain in place at matches involving the six leading teams in the country: Al Ahli, Zamalek, Al Ittihad, Ismaili, Al Masri and Damanhur.