Socialist Worker

Football fans in Britain send solidarity messages to Egypt's Ultras

Issue No. 2289

Football fans in Britain have reacted with horror to the deaths of 74 football fans in Port Said, Egypt, last week.

The fans were supporters of the football club Al-Ahly. The massacre was an attempt by the state to target the Ultras—football fans who have played a key role in the Egyptian Revolution.

But the attack backfired and sparked a wave of protest across Egypt and solidarity from around the world. Groups of fans from Britain have sent several messages of support to fans in Egypt, which we run below:

Everton FC fans

“On Merseyside there is a long memory of how the police can behave at matches. But what happened to the Al-Ahly Ultras was on another level.

“Our thoughts are with the departed’s loved ones. Blue or Red, many here have a lot of time for our Ultra brothers and sisters.

“Their struggle for social justice lit up the world. As the song goes, they will never walk alone.”

Leeds United FC fans

“We were shocked and appalled by the events at Port Said stadium. That so many fans were killed by hired thugs is shameful.

“We note that the police stood by and let the Ultras be targeted. As football fans who believe in peace and justice and have been inspired by Ultras in Egypt, we send our heartfelt sympathies to the Al-Ahly relatives, friends and fellow supporters.

“The dead will, we are sure, live on in everyone’s hearts.”

Members of the Crystal Palace Ultras

“As we call ourselves Ultras here, we were horrified by the deaths of Al-Ahly fans.

“It’s clear they were murdered by filthy elements. We have followed what has been going on in Egypt and the Ultras have been a breath of fresh air. That so many died in one night was like a massacre.

“As fans we all face common foes, though nothing like what the Ultras face. The Al-Ahly Ultras are among the best you will find in football.

“Justice for the Al-Ahly Ultras. Our deepest condolences to fellow fans and their families. May they rest in peace.”

The Fosse Boys from Leicester City FC

“There is a common sort of community among fans who call themselves Ultras, whoever you support and wherever you are.

“When the scenes at Port Said were broadcast, who could really believe it? The police are as bad as the military for letting this happen. That all these Ultras died stinks.

“After everything people in Egypt have been through, this must come as another disaster. It is great to see the resilience of people in Egypt to what happened at Port Said. Our thoughts are with the dead and their families and friends. These Ultras died for what they believed in. All power to the Ultras.”

Celtic FC fans

“Ultras are the hardcore, the most passionate and the most loyal. The Egyptian Ultras are respected worldwide for all this and more. Fans face all sorts of problems, including excessive policing, but the Ultras were on the biggest frontline you can face.

“They were butchered by cowards and scum. Our hearts go out to Egypt’s Ultras and their grieving relatives. We could do a lot worse than follow the Ultras when we seek change in this country. They will be remembered long after the unmentionables who killed them. Long live the Ultras!”

Arsenal FC fans

“No one should die for going to a football game. The Ultras who were massacred are people who should be remembered for their heroism and defiance. We, like many, have the deepest respect for them, sincere condolences to their grieving relatives.

“Arsenal fans are a multicultural lot and lots of us watched in awe last year when we saw the Ultras in action in Egypt.

“The generals have only won a battle—the Ultras’ war is far from over. May the Ultras get all they fight for.”

Anti-fascists at Aston Villa FC

'The deaths of the Al-Ahly Ultras stunned all who want a better world. Football fans are often divided over trivia like who supports who.

'What happened at Port Said has brought many of us together. Our sincere condolences to the family, friends, comrades of the Al-Ahly Ultras.

'Their murders shame Scaf, we will not forget them. Victory to the Ultras!'.

Queens Park Rangers FC fans

'Ranger's fans were, like everyone else, disgusted by what happened to the Ultras at the Port Said ground. Rangers supporters come in all colours and from many parts of the world.

'To think that you could lose your life just for going to a game is shocking, but that so many were killed is horrendous. We send our thoughts and deepest sympathies to the deceased Ultras family and fellow supporters and friends.

'The Al-Ahly Ultras are well regarded by fans from many clubs and rightly so. We hope the people who let this happen face justice. Nothing less will do.

'From now, we are all Al-Ahly Ultras'.

Thanks to Paul Sillett

If you’d like to send a message of solidarity to Egypt’s Ultras, email [email protected]

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