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Only 200 supporters attend Egypt Cup final due to security concerns

Military authorities agreed to hold the game at the army-owned Air Defense Stadium

Published: Updated:

Due to security concerns, a mere 200 fans were allowed to attend the Egypt Cup final between Zamalek and Smouha in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Saturday.

As security officials initially refused to stage the domestic cup final at a main stadium in Cairo, military authorities agreed to hold the game at the army-owned Air Defense Stadium.

The two finalists passed fans’ names on to football association officials to enable them to attend the final.

“Only 100 Zamalek fans and an equal number of Smouha supporters will be allowed to watch the game from the stands.

“But both clubs will need to send a list of the fans’ names to the EFA to allow their supporters in,” Egyptian Football Assocation board member Hamada al-Masry said, according to state-run daily al-Ahram.

Fan attendance at matches has been heavily restricted since the deadly Port Said killings in 2012, when 74 fans were killed in the stands after a match.

Since then, there have been attempts to get supporters back at the matches, although security officials have continued to limit attendance.

There have been attempts since to get fans back into the stadiums, but clashes between Ahly’s ultras fans and security forces after an African Super Cup game at Cairo Stadium nearly five months ago saw security officials reimpose limits on attendance.

Last year’s Cup final was attended by about 4,000 fans, the newspaper reported.