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Zamalek invite Inter Milan to centenary celebrations

Current European champions could provide the opposition to mark the Cairo giants' centenary after Real Madrid prove too expensive

Eslam Omar, Wednesday 20 Apr 2011
Zamalek.
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Egyptian giants Zamalek are in talks to host Italian side Inter Milan, as part of their centenary celebrations in June. 

Zamalek had initially approached Real Madrid but were deterred by the Spanish side's financial demands.

“Real Madrid asked for one million and six hundred thousand euros and this much for us during our financial crisis,” Zamalek board member Ahmed Sherin Fawzy said. “They also required that the match be on May 24 and this might not be suitable for us.”

Inter Milan could receive one million euros for taking part in the commemorative match.

The Egyptian Premier League leaders were set to hold their 100-year festivity some months ago, but the celebrations were postponed with the country in the grips of the January 25 Revolution.

Zamalek recently exited from the African Champions League after an embarrassing pitch invasion by some of their fans during their home match against Tunisian Club Africain in the round of 32. They are waiting for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) sanction committee to decide on their punishment.

The club is hit by a financial crisis, following the dismissal of former president Mamduh Abbas, who was a major source of the club’s funds. The financial issues forced the players to complain to the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) to demand their salaries before the problem was solved by Club President Galal Ibrahim.

One of the oldest clubs in Egypt, Zamalek was established on 5 January 1911 and their football team has many fans around Africa and Arab world. They have won the Egyptian league title 11 times and the Egypt Cup on 21 occasions as well as holding five African Champions League trophies and many other championships.

Zamalek currently sit on top of the Egyptian Premier League, three points ahead of their arch rivals Ahly. Should they win the title this season, it will be their first since 2004.

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