Sudan football fans gather outside stadium despite ban

Sudan football fans gather outside stadium despite ban
Sudanese football fans gather outside Al-Hilal football team stadium's where they faced Egypt's Al-Ahly in an African Champions League match, despite a stadium ban.
2 min read
19 February, 2022
Fans of the Al-Hilal football club in Omdurman, Sudan pose for a photo as they cheer outside their stadium, despite a ban [Getty]

Hundreds of Sudanese football fans gathered Friday outside Al-Hilal stadium to cheer on their team against Egypt's Al-Ahly following a ban on entry to the ground, an AFP correspondent said.

The African Champions League match, which ended 0-0, was held in Al-Gawhara Al-Zarkaa stadium in Omdurman, the captial's twin city, with heavy security deployed outside.

"We came to stand by the Al-Hilal team," supporter Abdelhady Aboudarah told AFP.

"We were surprised to find that fans were not allowed."

On Wednesday, Al-Hilal said it had received "an official letter from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) banning fans entry to the match."

CAF had earlier agreed to allow 15,000 fans into the stadium, according to Al-Hilal's official Facebook page.

The Egyptian Football Association said on Thursday it had requested the ban "to protect the Al-Ahly team."

Egyptian and Sudanese fans violently clashed during previous matches.

Sudan has been rocked by deepening unrest since a military coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan- a move that triggered regular mass anti-coup protests.

The October military takeover derailed a transition painstakingly negotiated between the military and civilian bodies following the 2019 ouster of president Omar Al-Bashir.

On Thursday, the Sudanese Football Association denied any role in CAF's decision and expressed support for Al-Hilal's demands to allow fans into the ground, according the official SUNA news agency.

The club also said it will appeal against CAF's decision and demanded a compensation of $500,000.