Cairo giants Ahly are looking to mark the kick off the new year with a trophy for beating bitter rivals Masry in the Egyptian Super Cup in the United Arab Emirates on Friday.
Their fans are meeting for the first time since a massacre that is still fresh in the minds that left some 74 fans dead back in February 2012.
Following the disaster، authorities banned spectators from all Egyptian league matches across the country. On Friday، those same two teams will play in front of fans for the first time since that tragic night in 2012. But it will not be in Egypt. Instead، the Egyptian Supercup played between the winners of the Egypt Cup and the Egyptian Premier League، will be decided at Hazza bin Zayed stadium in Al Ain، UAE.
In January 2015، the two teams met in a league game for the first time since the incident، where the two teams played out a 1-1 Egyptian Premier League draw.
Ahly and Masry last met in November، when Al Ahly won 2-0. But this is the first time they will play each other in front of fans.
International leagues require clubs to allow audiences into games، so fans have been returning slowly. But those matches have not been open to the general public، only to club delegations. There are still no fans allowed at domestic football matches.
About 3،600 tickets for Friday's match have been sold in Egypt، according to Presentation Sports، the company responsible for ticketing. Abu Dhabi police have mobilised 15 security forces including anti-riot، special forces، air ambulance and canine units، and called on fans to "commit to civilised cheering and to co-operate with police forces to maintain public security."