Cairo: The president of Egyptian soccer club Zamalek SC, Murtada Mansur, Monday accused the banned Muslim Brotherhood (MB) of instigating and taking part in the violent riots pitting the Ultras White Knights hooligans against Egyptian security forces, which resulted in the death of 22 people.
In remarks to private Egyptian television channel Sada el Balad, Mansur claimed that Ultras fans of Egyptian teams are "the military arm of the Muslim Brotherhood".
In December 2013, the Egyptian government outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood, labeling it a "terrorist organisation".
Mansur underlined that the Egyptian police "has not fired a single shot," instead firing tear gas to disperse those gathered in front of the Air Defence Stadium, which hosted the match between Zamalek and Ennpi in the Egyptian Premier League`s 20th round.
According to the health ministry, 19 people were killed, but the general prosecution reported that the toll reached 22 during the riots that erupted a few hours before the match began, after fans tried to access the stadium which had already shut its gates.
The Egyptian interior ministry explained that several fans of both teams stormed into the Air Defence Stadium, located in eastern Cairo, supposedly without having purchased entry tickets for the game.
According to Mansur, the Muslim Brotherhood intended to sow chaos before Russian President Vladimir Putin`s two-day visit to Egypt, starting Monday.
Mansur added that these actions were an attempt to sabotage the country`s ongoing economic development.
Following the bloody clashes Sunday, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) suspended its soccer league matches indefinitely, while the general prosecution opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.
The match between Zamalek and Enppi was scheduled to begin at 7.30 p.m. Sunday, and although it was delayed by the riots, the game was eventually played and ended in a 1-1 draw.