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Defying Ahly, Egypt's FA says there will be no changes in league fixtures

Ahram Online , Tuesday 28 May 2019
Ahly
File photo of an Egyptian Premier League game featuring Ahly (Ahram)
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The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) insisted on Tuesday that it would make no changes to the remaining fixtures of the domestic league, defying a request by Ahly to finish the competition before the African Nations Cup gets underway.

Ahly, who are chasing a fourth consecutive league title, demanded that the EFA hold all the remaining fixtures before the tournament, which will take place in Egypt, so as to have time to rest and prepare for the new season.

They went as far as threatening to withdraw from the competition if their demand is not accepted.

However, Ahly's perennial rivals Zamalek said they would not accept any changes in their schedule, given that they still have five matches in hand, including a potential title-deciding derby against Ahly at the end of the season.

One option for the EFA was to ask Egypt coach Javier Aguirre to delay the start of the team's training camp ahead of the Nations Cup so that the remaining league fixtures could take place, but the Mexican turned down their request.

"Javier Aguirre insisted that he starts the training camp on 6 June," the EFA said in a statement.

"Accordingly, the competitions committee decided to maintain the recently-announced schedule."

The EFA's announcement means the league season could be extended to late July or early August. The Nations Cup will take place from 21 June to 19 July.

Ahly have two matches remaining against Arab Contractors and Zamalek. They lead the table with 74 points, eight ahead of Zamalek who played three matches less than their Cairo foes.

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