Published March 14, 2013
CAIRO – Egyptian lawyers say police have arrested 38 members of a die-hard soccer fan club on charges of belonging to an illegal group, attempting to set fire to a provincial court house and insulting police officers.
The charges Thursday are the first signs of a crackdown on the soccer fan clubs, known as Ultras, which became a force in Egypt's tumultuous transition and are known for their longstanding animosity with the police.
Lawyer Ahmed Ezzat said that those arrested in the Nile Delta province of Menoufia include at least 15 minors.
Suspected Ultras set fire to a police club and a soccer federation in Cairo last week during protests over the acquittal of policemen tried for their alleged part in a 2012 riot that killed over 70 soccer fans.