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Egypt sports minister keeps distance after Zamalek misses match

Minister Khaled Abdel-Aziz says he has no power over elected boards of sporting clubs

Ahram Online , Monday 17 Apr 2017
Khaled Abdel-Aziz
Egypt's Minister of Youth and Sports Khaled Abdel-Aziz (Photo: Al-Ahram )
Views: 1892
Views: 1892

Egypt's Minister of Youth and Sports Khaled Abdel-Aziz has expressed his annoyance at requests for his intervention after Zamalek failed to show up for a league game against Maqassa on Sunday.

"People select the boards of clubs and associations and then demand that the government sack them. General assemblies vote, and when any mistake is made, they request the minister's interference. Did the minister vote for them? No. So how can you ask him to sack them?" Abdel-Aziz said on his Facebook account late on Sunday.

Zamalek failed to show up at Cairo's Petrosport Stadium for the scheduled 7 pm kick-off on Sunday, while Maqassa was present at the venue. Zamalek's non-attendance follows several threats this season from club chairman Mortada Mansour that Zamalek would withdraw from matches.

The referee waited for 20 minutes on the pitch before abandoning the match. Maqassa are expected to be awarded a win be default, while Zamalek are likely to be deducted three points by the Egyptian Football Association's competitions committee.

The EFA had originally postponed the match for one day, but Mansour claims that he was informed the game would take place on Tuesday, not Sunday.

Zamalek's previous league match against Maqassa last month was also clouded with controversy when the White Knights were denied a clear penalty, with Maqassa going on to win the match 1-0.

"By the way, boards appointed by the minister don't cause trouble," Abdel-Aziz said in his Facebook comments, referring to the board of Ahly football club, which was appointed after a court dissolve the elected board.

Ahly are leading the table with 64 points, with second-placed Maqassa on 57 and fourth-placed Zamalek on 40 but with a game in hand.

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

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