Al Ahly's triumph shines light on tragic day for Egypt
updated 2:32 AM EST, Sun November 18, 2012
Egypt's Al-Ahly team pose with the African Champions League trophy after winning 2-1 against Esperance de Tunis.
- Egyptian team Al Ahly wins African Champions League title for seventh time
- Fans torn between celebrations and grief after more than 50 children die in crash
- Ahly star dedicates Saturday's win to 74 fans who died at Port Said in February
- Egyptian league has been suspended since then due to security fears
(CNN) -- While Egypt's leaders try to broker peace in the Israel-Hamas conflict, one of its sports teams has completed a remarkable triumph on a day of nationwide mourning.
Egypt's leading soccer club Al Ahly won the African Champions League title for a record-extending seventh time on Saturday, despite its domestic league having been suspended for nine months following the death of 74 fans in the Port Said stadium tragedy.
However, before Saturday's match took place in Tunisia, 51 Egyptian children died when their school bus was hit by a train.
"Happy that Egypt got one good news today #ahly but can't help crying over those kids. Celebrate but consider those mourning," one man wrote on Twitter.
Another wrote: "When we have our revenge for my 74 brothers who died for #Ahly only then I'd celebrate the great victory, till then I'll keep it in my heart."
The 2011-12 Egyptian revolution thrust an unlikely group of young people into the country's political conscience: organized groups of soccer fans called "ultras."
Egypt's soccer revolutionaries
A boy stands in the rubble of a destroyed shop in Beit Lahia, in northern Gaza, on Monday, November 26.
Photos: Israel-Gaza conflict
Read: Ultras seek justice for fan deaths
Ahly star Abdallah El-Saied dedicated the win to the victims of the February 1 riot, which happened during his team's match at Al Masry.
"We wanted this trophy so much to offer it to the families and the souls of the Port Said martyrs," El-Saied said in quotes reported by the Ahram Online website after Ahly beat defending champions Esperance 2-1 in Tunis for a 3-2 aggregate victory.
The first leg two weeks ago was played at a military facility near Alexandria rather than at Ahly's home ground in Cairo due to security fears.
The club's militant fans, known as "ultras," have threatened to cause problems unless action is taken against the perpetrators of the Port Said violence. A government investigation is ongoing.
"Mass celebrations across downtown #Cairo, complete with horizontal fireworks," tweeted Cairo-based journalist Bel Tew.
Another Twitter user wrote: "To all of you celebrating #Ahly 's win. What the hell is wrong with you ppl? Timing? Priorities? Grief? Mourning?"
Another added: "Today is a really awful day for #Egypt, yes #Ahly made it better but it's still awful."
The victory earned Al Ahly a place at next month's FIFA Club World Cup, where the team will play either New Zealand's Auckland City or the champions of host nation Japan in the quarterfinals.
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:31 AM EDT, Wed June 19, 2013
In Brazil many believe the World Cup has seen the rich line their pockets, while the poor make do with crumbling public services.
No European team has ever won a World Cup in South America, but that could likely change next year, says CNN's John Sinnott.
updated 3:50 PM EDT, Fri June 14, 2013
Brazil's fans were ready to celebrate a first World Cup triumph, but what happened next has left a burning scar in the nation's psyche.
NN World Sport examines why racism continues to be a problem in football and what is being done to tackle discrimination.
updated 8:07 AM EDT, Thu June 13, 2013
Germany's Under-21s may bowed out of the European Championship Finals in Israel, but their experiences left a lasting impression.
Be part of CNN's coverage of European Champions League matches and join the social debate.
CNN's James Masters has had a close look at the next generation of European football stars at the U21 championship in Israel.
updated 10:25 AM EDT, Thu June 6, 2013
A former Palestinian player, once held without charge for three years, is campaigning for a boycott of Israel's staging of a major European tournament.
updated 6:52 AM EDT, Thu May 23, 2013
When Germany's two biggest soccer clubs go head-to-head in the Champions League final, there can only be one winner: German industry.
updated 9:56 AM EDT, Wed May 22, 2013
The Bundesliga model of sustainability is very much in vogue. But are Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund creating a dangerous duopoly?
updated 6:15 AM EDT, Thu May 23, 2013
CNN takes an exclusive look at the venue of the Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
updated 1:10 PM EDT, Fri May 17, 2013
David Beckham embraced his tag as a "gay icon" and has been credited with breaking the big taboo -- homosexuality in football.
updated 3:50 AM EDT, Mon May 13, 2013
'King' Alex Ferguson is quitting Manchester United but the $3.17 billion brand will survive, according to experts.
updated 10:18 AM EDT, Tue May 7, 2013
Italian football lags behind its other European rivals commercially, but newly-crowned Italian champions Juventus is showing Serie A clubs an example of revival.
updated 10:34 AM EDT, Wed April 24, 2013
Luis Suarez's biting of Branislav Ivanovic is the latest episode of moments of madness when soccer stars behave badly.
updated 5:38 AM EDT, Fri March 29, 2013
Sunderland's partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation is part of its bid to woo the African market.
updated 11:58 AM EDT, Thu March 28, 2013
Each year as many as 700 Cameroonian young footballers leave Africa in search of a professional career abroad.
updated 8:01 AM EDT, Mon May 6, 2013
Referees across Europe are feeling the heat. Insulted, threatened, chased off the field, attacked, hospitalized and, tragically, killed.
updated 7:25 AM EST, Tue February 26, 2013
Footballers have a battery of physios, fitness trainers and doctors all striving to fine-tune their physique -- but are they missing a trick?
updated 6:41 AM EDT, Mon June 10, 2013
Hardcore Italian football "ultra" Federico is a Lazio supporter who happily admits directing monkey chants at black players.