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Ahly coach rejects resumption of Egyptian league

Jose says resumption of league 'impossible', condemns police failure to arrest perpetrators of Port Said disaster, calls for new season to begin in summer

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Tuesday 6 Mar 2012
Jose
Portuguese coach Manuel Jose of Egypt's Al Ahly (Photo: Reuters)
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Ahly’s Portuguese coach Manuel Jose Da Silva has asked for the Egyptian Premier League season to be cancelled after the Port Said disaster.

Domestic football has been put on hold since the disaster on 1 February, which left over 70 dead and hundreds injured, most of them fans of Cairo club Ahly.

“Resuming the league, which needs at least eight months to complete, is impossible. What happened in Port Said also makes the matter more difficult. They did not even arrest the people who killed our fans,” Jose told the club’s official website on Tuesday.

“I suggest we start a new league season in July or August,” he added.

Ahly players need to play more

The Red Devils, which are currently observing a 40-day mourning period, have launched a closed training camp in the UAE as part of preparations for their match against Ethiopian Coffee in the CAF African Champions League round of 32 on 23 March.

Ahly lost 3-2 to Kuwaiti side Shabab in their first friendly in Emirates on Friday. They defeated Dubai yesterday.

“Yesterday’s win came after correcting our previous mistakes in the defeat against Shabab which was normal because the players were out of action for more than a month,” explained Jose.

“Playing more games will be of great benefit for getting the players’ fitness back before our match in the Champions League. I tell my players continuously we must carry on despite what happened in Port Said.

“The current spate of injures is our main concern before the Ethiopian Coffee clash,” concluded Jose who is already missing some of his team’s key players, such as Ahmed Fathy, Wael Goma, Sherif Abdel-Fadil Abdullah El-Said and Ahmed Shedeed Kenawy.

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