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Ahly, Zamalek to play friendly to raise money for Port Said victims

Cairo rivals agree to hold friendly game to raise money for victims of Port Said Stadium disaster

Hatem Maher, Wednesday 7 Mar 2012
Ahly V Zamalek
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Ahly and Zamalek have agreed to play a friendly game later this month to raise funds for the victims of Egypt’s worst-ever football disaster.

The bitter foes often confront in heated Cairo derbies, but they decided to put their footballing rivalry aside to help the traumatised families of the Port Said victims.

At least seventy-four fans were killed and hundreds injured when thousands of Masry supporters invaded the pitch to confront Ahly’s visiting fans following the end of an Egyptian Premier League match on 1 February.

“Ahly chairman Hassan Hamdy and the head of the National Sports Council have accepted my proposal to play this friendly game,” Zamalek chairman Mamdouh Abbas told reports on Wednesday.

“The match will be played later this month. The game revenues will be given to the families of the martyrs.

“If the interior ministry declines to give us the green light to play this game, we will complain to the military council,” he added.

All domestic football activities have been suspended since the Port Said tragedy. A debate is ongoing among football figures over whether it is appropriate to resume the Premier League.

During a meeting between the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) and the chairmen of league clubs on Wednesday, Zamalek endorsed a suggestion to kick-start the competition but most clubs objected.

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