Cairo (AFP) – An Egyptian military court on Tuesday cleared four hardcore football fans of accusations of trying to overthrow the regime and setting fire to stadiums, their lawyers said.

Four other members of the banned White Knights ultras who support Cairo club Zamalek were each sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment, said the lawyers, cited in state media reports.

“The military criminal court acquitted” the four fans, Ali Fahim, the lawyer and father of one of those cleared, Sayed Ali Fahim, told AFP. 

But his son — a White Knights leader known as “Moshagheb” (Naughty) — would remain in custody over another case, added Fahim.

The case dates back to 2015 when several members of the White Knights were arrested after stadiums in Cairo were set alight.

In Egypt, military courts deal with cases in which property belonging to or under the protection of the army come under attack.

In 2015, 20 Zamalek fans were killed in clashes with the police in front of a stadium in the capital.

In the same year, the authorities banned such hardcore groups of football fans, including the White Knights and the Ultras of Ahlawy who support another Cairo club.

The two groups announced they were disbanding in May.