Are Soccer Fans the Unsung Heroes of Egypt’s Uprising?


“Everyone from the Muslim Brotherhood, to labor unions, to Wikileaks are being credited for contributing to Egypt’s uprising. But what about hardcore soccer fans? These guys are better at tangling with cops than just about anyone. When asked about the role of political groups in organizing protests, prominent Egyptian blogger Alaa abd El-Fatah told Al Jazeera today: ‘The ultras – the football fan associations – have played a more significant role than any political group on the ground at this moment.’” Gawker

Soccer clubs central to ending Egypt’s ‘Dictatorship of Fear’
“Over the decades that have marked the tenure of Egypt’s “President for Life” Hosni Mubarak, there has been one consistent nexus for anger, organization, and practical experience in the ancient art of street fighting: the country’s soccer clubs. Over the past week, the most organized, militant fan clubs, also known as the “ultras,” have put those years of experience to ample use.” SI

Egypt’s Soccer Revolution
“He was wearing a soccer replica-uniform but he was not on his way to watch a game but to Tahrir Square in Cairo to tackle Mubarak and his regime. Some reports from the region suggest that Egypt’s soccer fan organizations, known as Ultras, have been on the vanguard of the country’s revolution. An Egyptian blogger, Alaa Abd El Fattah, was quoted on Al Jazeera, – ‘the Ultras have played a more significant role than any political group on the ground.’” SFGate

‘Ultra’ soccer fans at heart of Egyptian protests
“‘Ultra’ soccer fans in Cairo long have had a reputation for street fighting. This past week, they’ve turned their fury from rival clubs and countries to the government. Alaa Abd El Fattah, a prominent Egyptian blogger, said in an interview seen on Al Jazeera, ‘The ultras – the football fan associations – have played a more significant role than any political group on the ground at this moment.’” SFGate

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