“Football for the fans,” a phrase often repeated by Ultras fans, is indicative of the complicated ideology of the hardcore fans. The sentence, mixing anarchist and anti-establishment ways of thinking, gives fans precedence over the football institutions that often politically and financially dominate the scene. Unpacked further, the statement stresses that the having access to the beloved game is a right, which governments, clubs’ managements and teams have to provide for the fans.
On 8 February, before the league game between Zamalek SC and Enpi, 20 fans were killed trying to claim that right, after being given tickets to enter the game. According to Zamalek football fans, the Ultras White Knights (UWK), police forces shot tear gas at fans as they were attempting to enter the stadium to attend a match last Sunday. The fans suffocated and died as a result, while the UWK called the police violence an “intentional massacre.”
However, the official narrative that is repeated by the judiciary, the police, and the pro-government entities—entities that include the management of the club—and state media, bluntly states that members of the now banned Muslim Brotherhood sparked anger in the crowd, leading to a riot and an ensuing stampede that killed the screaming twenty.