Nobody doubts that ultras played a significant role in the demonstrations in Tahrir Square. The question is which club's they were, with both Al Ahly and Zamalek claiming credit, and both claiming the other was the establishment side that enjoyed the patronage of Hosni Mubarak.
For a while a détente existed between the two teams as they rounded on a common enemy. "We fought the police in every match," said Ahmed, a leader of the Zamalek White Knights ultra group. "We know when they run. We taught the protesters how to throw bricks."
The situation is similar to that in Belgrade after the fall of Slobodan Milosevic, for which fans of Crvena Zvezda (Red Star) and Partizan both claimed credit. It was at Zvezda's Marakana stadium on 26 July 2000 that there came the first clear sign the Serbian public had turned against Milosevic, as fans at a Champions League qualifier against Torpedo Kutaisi of Georgia began chanting: "Do Serbia a favour, Slobodan, and kill yourself."