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Match sealed from public, angers football fans in Egypt

Published: Updated:

Egyptian Zamalek football club’s hardcore fans blocked a vital road on the outskirts of Cairo on Wednesday to protest against the Egyptian authorities’ decision to keep an African Champions League game sealed from the public on Friday.

Zamalek’s game against the Democratic Republic of Congo’s AS Vita club will be played behind closed doors at Alexandria’s military-owned Borg el-Arab Stadium, al-Ahram Online reported on Wednesday.

Serious security concerns have compelled Egypt’s interior ministry to abstain from airing the game and have induced the army to fill in as security guards, the news website said.

On Sunday, documents about Egyptian football history were burned and trophies were looted from the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) headquarters, an online website reported EFA Chief Executive Sarwat Swelam as saying.

“The situation is very difficult. The EFA headquarters were totally burned and president Gamal Alaam will return from abroad to attend today’s urgent meeting,” Swelam told state news agency MENA.

On Saturday, violence erupted in Egypt’s Port Said after a court verdict gave death sentences to 21 culprits who took part in Port Said’s football violence, which resulted in the deaths of 72 Ahly fans.