Activists back in Tahrir Square
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Since the fall of Hosni Mubarak, politics has entered every aspect of Egyptian life – even football. This is most evident in the Cairo Derby, a game between arch rivals Al Ahly and Zamalek, and Egypt’s national obsession.
The stands are alive as the fans chant at each other, a red wave against a white one. “Ahly and Zamalek weren’t just football teams, they were the biggest political parties”, says an Egyptian football pundit of the role the football clubs filled under the regime. “From 1973 to 2011 Egyptians were not interested in politics, they compensated for this by supporting football teams.” Now for the first time since the revolution the two teams are about to play each other. In the run up to the game violence again dominates the streets, as Egyptians voice their unhappiness with the transition government. At the beginning of the revolution Mubarak tried to lock in the support of the football clubs and their fans. But as with the rest of Egyptian society, the traditionally government supporting clubs, found themselves in the midst of their own revolution.
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