Ultras Ahlawy (UA-07) is an Egyptian ultras group that supports the Cairo-based Egyptian Premier League football club El Ahly SC. The group was founded in 2007 by former members of the first Ahly support group, Ahly Fans Club (AFC). Ultras Ahlawy raised its banner for the first time at a match against ENPPI on 13 April 2007. Ultras Ahlawy also supports the El-Ahly basketball, volleyball, and handball teams.
Ultras Ahlawy first became known for its banners and pyro shows. Later the group began introducing derby matches using the "We Are Egypt" chant. Ultras Ahlawy also introduced long-form supportive songs to Egyptian stadiums. It is popular that it is the first Ultras group in Egypt.
Banner and pyro displays
Ultras Ahlawy is known for its members' banners at both home and away games. The most famous examples were the El-Ahly logo at a SuperSport United F.C. match in the CAF Champions League, the red devil at a Zamalek match in the Premier League, and a Freedom for Ultras banner at the match against Espérance in the CAF Champions League.
Ultras Ahlawy members include college graduates, workers, and youth from many social levels in Egypt. Their slogan is "Together Forever", meant to highlight the connections between their members. Other slogans are "WE ARE EGYPT", "The best club in universe"(Egyptian pronunciation:A'zam Nady Fi El Koon), and "Feel Pride Never Hide You Are Ultras Ahlway". Members tend to quickly become tight-knit in the group, and their role increases with time.
The group produced a CD titled "A'zam Nady Fi El Koon ", featuring all the Ultras Ahlawy songs.
While playing a match against the Tunisian club Al-Taraji, some of the group's members were sent to jail. The other members drew the faces of every person sent to jail and wrote "Freedom for ultras" in Egyptian Arabic banners.
Confrontations with police
In July 2010 the Ultras decided not to attend matches after clashing fiercely with the police in a pre-season friendly., the board president, called on fans to stop boycotting Ahly's matches and once again support the club from the stands. The group asked for its right, and asked the club for protection from police attacks against supporters.
Reconciliation efforts came days ahead of Ahly's crucial Champions League showdown against Algeria's JS Kabylie (Shabibat Al Kabyile).
Role in the Egyptian Protests
|This section requires expansion. (February 2011)|
On 24 January 2011, the night before the commencement of the Egyptian 25 January revolution, Ultras Ahlawy sentenced a statement that the group will NOT be a part of the demonstrations on the following day in its official form, however, each member of the group is free to be part of the demonstrations. This statement is in compliance with the Ultras Mentality as Ultras groups are only for supporting their clubs, politics is not part of Ultras concern. However, Ultras Ahlawy members played a key role in the 2011 Egyptian protests, along with the Ultras White Knights.
The Battle of 2 February 2011 was a key turning point in the Egyptian revolution. It is known as "the battle of the camel". On that day hundreds of Ultras groups members protected the Tahrir Square from raids led by Mubarak supporters trying to occupy the square and set an end to the Egyptian revolution once and for all. The battles lasted from 2 pm till 4 am the next day with Ultras members in the front lines. It has been reported that at least three were killed and hundreds were wounded on that day, but the square stood still and Mubarak supporters raids were nothing but a huge failure. It is alleged that on that day, Mubarak regime fell apart.
Port Said massacre
After the stepping down of the Mubarak regime, Ultras members continued to be part of various revolutionary demonstrations against the SCAF. The most popular are the Muhammad Mahmoud demonstrations in addition to the Egyptian Cabinet's. On the later, Muhammad Mustapha Kareeka, a member of Ultras Ahlawy, fell as a martyr, which outraged the Ultras, leading them to chant against SCAF on the following Ahly match against Masr El Makassa.
The first away match for El Ahly after Kareeka's death was on 1 February 2012 against Masry of Portsaid, on that day and after the whistle was blown, thousands of Masry supporters led by the rivals Ultras Green Eagles broke through the stadium. With the help of security forces, Masry supporters entered El Ahly fans' territory and assaulted them, leading to the death of 74 members of Ultras Ahlawy and Ultras Devils members in what was later known as the Port Said massacre or Port Said Conspiracy. Port Said Stadium riot
Ultras Ahlawy, Devils and several other social and political entities started numerous demonstrations demanding the rights of those who died in Port Said. Starting by the UA07 march on 5 February to the District Attorney office.
Later, over 70 convicts were charged with homicide including 9 police officers and three from the Portsaid stadium workers.
On 26 January 2013, 21 of the convicted Masry supporters were sentenced to death. The verdict for the rest of the convicts is to be sentenced on 9 March 2013.
- Saeid, Alimad; Hassan, Sherif (23 September 2007). "Ultras paint colorful picture for Egyptian football, reject violence". filgoal.com. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
- "Soccer Fans Play Key Role in Egyptian Protests". Bleacher Report. 2011-01-26. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
- Portsaid Massacre Verdict on 26 January 2013
- Portsaid Massacre
- Ultras Ahlawy official website
- Al-Ahly official website
- Al-Ahlydevils official website
- Egyptian Ultras, From the Inside