[QODLink]
Middle East
Egypt delays start of premier league football
Al-Ahly football club demands that perpetrators of deadly stadium riot be brought to justice before league starts.
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2012 10:08
At least 74 people, mostly Al-Ahly supporters, were killed in violence during a football game in February [Reuters]

Egypt's Sports Ministry has decided to delay the start of the country's premier league for one month, following the storming by angry fans of the football association's headquarters.

Association head Amer Hussein told reporters on Saturday that delaying games until October 17 will allow the 18 league teams to be paid from television stations broadcasting matches.

He did not cite as a reason the protest on Wednesday by Al-Ahly's supporter club, Ultras, who are angry over the resumption of games.

They want the perpetrators of a February stadium riot that killed 74 people, mostly Al-Ahly supporters, brought to justice first.

The federation shut down the league after the violence, but recently reversed the decision. Officials said games will be played without fans in attendance.

Super Cup game

However, a Super Cup match between the winners of the Egyptian Premier League and the Egypt Cup was scheduled to go ahead on Sunday evening.

The match will be played between Egypt's most popular team Al-Ahly and ENPPI, and Ultras had earlier planned to protest outside the stadium.

Egypt captain and Al-Ahly football team member Mohamed Aboutrika is opposing the team's Super Cup game and said he would not travel to Alexandria, Egypt's Daily News reported.

Sports Minister El-Amry Farouk insisted that the Super Cup match will go on as planned, even after the Ultras claimed they would die before it was played, local media reported.

"The decision to postpone the Egyptian League is one of our gains, but it's not our only demand. We refuse to engage in any clashes that might lead to a shedding of blood," Ultras said in a statement on their Facebook page.

"We wholly reject to turn it into a confrontation with fellow citizens … so we announce that we have cancelled tomorrow's gathering [in Cairo] that was supposed to be followed by a travel to Alexandria," they added.

312

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.