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Egyptian league unlikely to resume after Port Said disaster, says EFA chairman
The interior ministry’s decision to cancel three friendly games for Egypt in the aftermath of the Port Said massacre has seemingly ended any hopes for possible Premier League resumption
Hatem Maher, Sunday 19 Feb 2012
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Egypt

The Egyptian Premier League is unlikely to resume following the interior ministry’s decision to call off three friendly games for the national team, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) chairman said on Sunday.

“The EFA was seriously considering resuming the league on 15 March behind closed doors upon the request of the clubs, after the end of the mourning period for the victims of the Port Said disaster,” Anwar Saleh told Ahram Sport.

“But the interior ministry’s letter, which demanded that Egypt’s friendly games be cancelled, came as a killer punch to our plans to resume the competition.”

The Pharaohs were supposed to meet Uganda, Guinea and Niger later this month as part of a training camp but the matches were cancelled for security reasons.

They were also scheduled to open their African Cup of Nations qualifiers against Central Africa on 29 February but the Confederation of African Football (CAF) agreed to postpone the game to 30 June.

Domestic football activities have been suspended since the infamous Port Said disaster, which left 74 fans killed and scores injured early this month when thousands of Masry supporters invaded the pitch to confront the visiting Ahly fans following the end of a league game.

Cairo side Zamalek were the first Egyptian team to play a football game following the tragedy, salvaging a 1-1 draw at Tanzania’s Young Africans in the first leg of the African Champions League preliminary round on Saturday.

Many pundits called on the EFA to call off the league this season, given the political turmoil and security problems Egypt is enduring.

“We have no option but to follow the instructions of the authorities. We will wait to see whether security will improve,” added Saleh, who was appointed as the EFA caretaker chairman following the resignation of Samir Zaher.

“I hope the authorities will reverse that decision soon, because cancelling the league will have dire consequences on Egyptian football on all fronts.”

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter: @AO_Sports)





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Stuart (MUFC)
20-02-2012 11:06am
0-
30+
Football Violence
I’ve lived in Egypt since the 90’s and being from the UK and a Manchester United fan I love football. I experienced the dark days of English football when our Ultras destroyed the reputation of English football through violence, leading to English clubs being banned for a number of years from European competition. English football association and fan clubs worked together and succeeded in controlling the problem. I’ve been to many football games in Egypt and seen with my own eyes a yearly increase in violence between local and International clubs, also against residents with cars and property destroyed. Any loss of life at a football game is tragic and my heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones, especially as many were real football fans there just to enjoy the game. This tragedy has to be a wake-up call for Egyptian football and for the Egyptian public; football violence is a real problem and trying to point the finger of blame anywhere else other than Football.
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Stuart
20-02-2012 10:42am
0-
25+
Football Violence
FOOTBALL HOOLIGANISM I’ve lived in Egypt since the 90’s and being from the UK and a Manchester United support I love the great game of football. I experienced the dark days of English football when the English Ultras destroyed the reputation of English football through hooliganism and violence, which resulted in the English club’s been banned for a number of years from European competition. Finally the English football association and fan clubs decided to work together and managed to turn around the problem. I’ve been to countless games in Egypt over the last 10 years and seen with my own eyes a yearly increase in the level of football violence against both local and International clubs, and against residents where the games where taking place, with car’s and property destroyed. Any loss of life at a football game is tragic and my heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones, especially as many where real football fan there just to enjoy the game, not to fight or cause trouble
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