Security has been increased at Cairo Airport ahead of the national football team’s return from Ghana on Wednesday, an airport security official has told Al-Ahram Arabic news website.
The move comes after ultras groups reportedly said they would gather at the airport to receive the team after it lost 6-1 to Ghana in Tuesday’s World Cup playoff.
Armoured vehicles and special forces have been deployed at one of the airport’s main gates, and police and military checkpoints have been erected at other entrances, the security official added.
The official said ultras – hardcore fans – would be prevented from entering the airport to avoid any confrontation with the team.
He added that the police would escort the Egypt team bus along the main road from the airport. The Pharaohs are scheduled to arrive in Cairo at 9pm CMT.
Clashes erupted at the airport on Sunday between security forces and ultras of Cairo club Ahly who had come to receive their handball team upon its return from Tunisia after losing in the African Cup final.
Eleven police personnel and two airport workers were injured in the violence, according to airport security. Twenty-five ultras were detained on charges of storming an airport terminal and assaulting security forces.
The road was blocked on Monday by around 500 Ahly ultras demanding the release of their 25 colleagues arrested a day earlier.
Ultras have often clashed with police during demonstrations and football matches, with many members arrested, injured and killed over the last few years.