Al Hilal Omdurman, LISCR FC CAF’s Champions League opponent has been reprimanded and fined US$6,000, after a group of fans unfurled a banner depicting Nazi dictator, Adolf Hitler
Liberia’s champion faces Sudan most decorated side in Monrovia in the first leg on the weekend of February 9-11, with the return leg taking place in between February 16-18 in Khartoum.
The incident occurred on 25 November 2017, during the final of the Sudanese League derby with Al Merrikh in Omdurman.
The International Football Federation (FIFA), which has a zero tolerance policy for any form or racism or discrimination, has opened an investigation into the matter.
The incident has prompted international outrage and could likely see Al Hilal faced further sanctions from the football world.
UK-based football anti-discrimination FARE network disciplinary committee says it was also investigating the incident, which it called “a gruesome first for sub-Saharan Africa”.
On Saturday, the Sudanese Football Federation received a letter from FIFA’s disciplinary committee demanding that photos and videos be submitted for an official investigation into the event.
Club secretary, Gen. Hassan Ali Issa said in a statement said: “Al Hilal Football Club strongly condemns this incident, and we would like here to stress our keen commitment to the values of peace, love, and coexistence.
“We question how this banner was allowed to enter the stadium and the roles of the organizational committee and the police who were tasked to inspect the fans as they entered the stadium.”
The club denies responsibility and insists that the incident was caused by a group of fans – the Blue Lions Ultras – who do not represent the club.
However, the club posted video footage of the occurrence on its Facebook page showing a large banner of Hitler, flanked by smaller banners spelling the word ‘holocaust’.
The Blue Lions Ultras supporters defend their actions and insist it was a “sarcastic taunt” to the Al Merrikh supporters, whose club represents a neighborhood that was once home to the small Jewish community of Sudan.
The Ultras, who have been banned from the first match next season, model their behavior on hard-core supporters in Europe.
They are notorious for a combative style that includes the display of provocative banners and chanting, confrontations with rival fans and police, and a gang culture.
Fifa in July of this year banned Sudan because of government interference in the sport.
The suspension saw Sudan’s three clubs in continental tournaments, Al Hilal and Al Merreikh barred from the Champions League, while Al Hilal Obeid was disqualified from the Confederation Cup by Africa’s football governing body, CAF. See copy of FIFA’s letter to the Sudanese Football Federation: