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Thursday, 14 November 2019

Saturday's Ahly, Zamalek derby postponed indefinitely: EFA

Egyptian Premier League clubs fume after the Cairo derby postponement

Mahmoud Sheleib, Wednesday 16 Oct 2019
Ahly v Zamalek
Al Ahly's Hamdi Fathi receives treatment after sustaining an injury as Zamalek's Mohamed Ibrahim is shown a yellow card (Photo: Reuters)
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The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) announced late Tuesday postponing Saturday's anticipated Cairo derby between Ahly and Zamalek, without declaring the new date owing to security instructions.

"The EFA decided to delay Ahly, Zamalek game, scheduled for Saturday in the fourth round of the Egyptian Premier League, after the association had delivered security instructions concerning the game. The game's new date will be decided later," read a statement on EFA's official Facebook page.

 

Accordingly, the EFA also decided to bring forward Zamalek and Arab Contractors league match four days to be held on Saturday 19 October instead of 23 October. The game was supposed to be postponed already, as Zamalek will face Senegal's Generation Foot on 24 October in the second leg match of the African Champions League's preliminary round.

Zamalek president quickly reacted saying that the club respects the security instructions regarding the derby, but at the same time rejects the EFA decision to play the Arab Contractors' match instead.

Meanwhile, Arab Contractors officials attacked the EFA's decision to change the date of their game against Zamalek and delaying their game against Aswan.

"This is football chaos, and an irresponsible decision. We won't play against Zamalek, we will take it to the highest level and we will restore our rights," Arab Contractors' football director Mohamed Adel told Time Sports TV channel.

On the other side many teams requested to postpone their league matches after EFA's announcement, as Smouha requested officially from the football association to delay their game against Pyramids scheduled for Thursday.

"As long as the Cairo derby was postponed because of security instructions, all the matches of the fourth round need to be postponed as well to guarantee equality for all teams," Smouha chairman Farag Amer told Sada El-Balad TV channel on Wednesday.

Gouna sent an official letter to the EFA requesting to delay their game against FC Masr scheduled for Thursday for the same reason. Gouna are supposed to host Ahly in the league's fifth round on 23 October.

"Is it logical to travel to Cairo to face FC Masr, then return to Gouna, while Ahly are resting all this period and have the advantage of healing their national team players?" head of Gouna club managing company, Nader Shawky, told Egyptian sports website FilGoal.

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

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