Following rival, Egypt's Zamalek White Knights ultras disband

AFP
An Egyptian court banned hardcore football supporters groups, which clash frequently with security forces, in 2015 (AFP Photo/MOHAMED EL-SHAHED)
An Egyptian court banned hardcore football supporters groups, which clash frequently with security forces, in 2015 (AFP Photo/MOHAMED EL-SHAHED)

Cairo (AFP) - Diehard fans of Egyptian football club Zamalek said they were permanently disbanding their White Knights supporters group nearly three years after it was banned by the courts.

Cairo-based Zamalek is one of the most popular and successful clubs in Egypt and is a major force in African football.

The decision to disband the ultras follows that undertaken by Zamalek's arch-rivals Al-Ahly, another Cairo club, who dissolved their supporters group earlier this month.

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A leading member of the White Knights told reporters in Cairo on Sunday that his group "is only a sports association, without any political leanings or affiliations at all".

Another member then burned the group's banner, signifying its dissolution.

Ultras at several Egyptian clubs were at the forefront of the 2011 revolt that topped former president Hosni Mubarak.

An Egyptian court had banned hardcore football supporters groups, which clash frequently with security forces, in 2015.

Al-Ahly announced the end of their ultras on May 16, also burning their banner in a video posted on their Facebook page, which had more than 1.3 million likes before it was deleted.

The moves come after reports some of the Al-Ahly Ultras clashed with police and were arrested at a CAF Champions League match in Cairo against Mounana of Gabon in March.

In 2012, 74 people died, most of them Al-Ahly fans, in a riot at a game in Port Said against local club Al-Masry.

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