Egypt’s Zamalek Ultras announce their intention to violate stadium ban against Vita Club as relations with owner, Mortada Mansour continue to sour
Hardcore Zamalek fans known as the Ultras White Knights announced their intention to attend the Champions League last-18 home tie against DR Congo’s Vita Club, defying a crowd ban imposed by the Egyptian FA.
On their official Facebook page, the die-hard supporters vowed to be in the stands at Alexandria Stadium on Sunday, while lambasting Zamalek chief Mortada Mansour whom they implicitly accused of ‘preventing them from attending matches’.
Meanwhile, Mansour responded to the Ultras’ statement by threatening to imprison those who will challenge the stadium ban.
“I swear anyone who would attempt to attend the match against Vita Club will be jailed outright,” he said in television statements.
The relationship between Zamalek’s Ultras and Mansour has been far from healthy as of late, with the incumbent president pledging to take action against rioters belonging to the fan-firm on several occasions.
Just a few hours before the Egypt Cup final with Smouha in Cairo last month, a group of fans – believed to be Ultras – attacked the visitors’ bus, with Mansour lashing out at the assailants whom he referred to as ‘thugs’.
A recent incident also saw the ardent Zamalek Ultras storm the club premises in anger over the board’s decision to sack manager Mido, further souring their relationship with the outspoken chairman – who then made it clear that those who ‘fired gunshots’ would be shot dead.
It remains to be seen what will happen if the Ultras break the crowd ban – in place since the deadly Port Said disaster in February 2012 – as the decision to prohibit fans’ attendance to matches is not imposed by CAF – the governing body of African Football – overseeing the game against Vita Club.
Zamalek, who are third in Group A with four points, need a win over leaders Vita Club to keep their chances of a semi-final berth alive after failing to overcome TP Mazembe at home a fortnight ago.