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Egypt champions Ahly threaten: Foreign referees or league withdrawal

Egyptian champions Ahly have blamed refereeing mistakes for a number of defeats this season

Eslam Omar , Wednesday 21 Jan 2015
Ahly and Zamalek
Zamalek's Ahmed Eied (L) fights for the ball against derby rivals Ahly's Abdallah El Saied (Photo: Reuters)
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Ahly have officially asked the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) to appoint foreign referees for their upcoming matches in the Premier League.

"The club has decided not to continue in the league unless our matches are refereed by foreigners, starting with the Zamalek game [on 29 January]," the title holders stated in an official letter to the EFA.

Club chairman Mahmoud Taher met football sector manager Alaa Abdel-Sadek on Wednesday to discuss "refereeing mistakes against the club" in the wake of Tuesday's Petrojet game.

"The points lost by refereeing mistakes are enough to boost Ahly to the top of the league. The club have warned before that these mistakes threaten the competition."

Ahly have said they do not demand a foreign referee for Saturday’s match against Tala El-Geish due to the short notice.

The EFA competitions committee hit Ahly coach Juan Garrido with a one-match suspension on Wednesday for "assaulting referees" in a press conference after the Petrojet match. Player Hussein El-Sayed was suspended for four games for his behavior in the same game. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.

"We have lost many points because of refereeing decisions. Referees cost us wins against Ismaily, Assiouty Sport, Masry and against Petrojet tonight," Garrido, who led Ahly to the Egyptian Super Cup and African Confederation Cup titles after taking over in the summer, said in the post-match news conference.

Ahly's second successive draw leaves them fourth with 29 points, 11 behind Cairo foes Zamalek who are seeking to win the league title for the first time since 2004. The Reds are bidding for their ninth trophy in a row.

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