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Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Ahly boss optimistic ahead African Super Cup final, backs domestic league return

Ahly chairman is confident that his side will win the African Super Cup trophy when they face Algerian team ES Setif on Saturday

Mahmoud Elassal , Friday 20 Feb 2015
Mahmoud Taher
Ahly president Mahmoud Taher (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Ahly president Mahmoud Taher has revealed that he is confident of his team's players ahead of the African Super Cup game against ES Setif in Algeria on Saturday, saying that they are used to playing under pressure to win trophies.

The African Confederation Cup champions Ahly arrived in Algeria on Thursday morning with a crew of 37 members to face the CAF Champions League winners ES Setif in the African Super Cup on Saturday.

"We are used to playing under pressure as players and they appeared to be in good shape in the final games," Taher was quoted as saying on a television program ahead of the game.

The record holders, Ahly, are bidding for their seventh African Super Cup.

The Red Devils are CAF Champions League record holders with eight trophies but lost last season's bid to win the Cup and are now eyeing the Super to maintain their African supremacy.

"I am confident Ahly will win the Africa Super Cup title as the team's fans are used to winning trophies," Taher said.

The Ahly frontline has been boosted by the news that longtime striker Emad Meteb completed the full training session with the team on Thursday, despite suffering from the flu which put him in major doubt for the crucial game, though he is now expected to be included in the starting lineup.  

Backing Premier League return

Domestic football activities in Egypt have been suspended after the Air Defence Stadium disaster in which at least 20 people died on 8 February.

The Ahly chairman revealed his support for the return of football activities, but on the condition that rules will be put in place to better organize games.

"I support the Egyptian Premier League to return but with rules that would prevent any future disasters," Taher said.

"I expect the Premier League will be back soon if those responsible for the disaster have been punished," the Ahly chairman concluded.

The domestic football fate remains uncertain after the Egyptian government declined to discuss the possibility of resuming the Premier League in its meeting on Wednesday.

Egypt's cabinet was due to decide whether to resume the premier domestic competition but eventually opted to put football discussions on hold, focusing on more pressing issues such as the country's airstrikes on Islamic State group in Libya after approximately 20 Egyptian Christians were beheaded by the militants.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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