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Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Cairo stadium to host Ahly and Zamalek matches in Champions League semis: Sports minister

The 74,100-capacity stadium is set to be closed next month for some renovations including re-laying the summer grass

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Monday 9 Mar 2020
Stadium
General view during the Ahly v Sundowns match at Cairo stadium last week (Photo: Reuters)
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Cairo International Stadium is set to host the CAF Champions League semi final matches of Egyptian giants Ahly and Zamalek, Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhi revealed on Sunday.

Ahly and archrivals Zamalek reached the semi final of the prestigious continental tournament after passing South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns and Tunisia's Esperance respectively in the quarters a few days ago.

The 74,100-capacity stadium already hosted both confrontations of Ahly and Zamalek of the quarters amid the presence of 30,000 supporters for each team, but it is set to be closed next month for some renovations.

"The ministry is currently in negotiations with the English company responsible for stadium renovations to postpone re-laying the summer grass until playing the Ahly and Zamalek matches in the Champions league semis," Minister Sobhi told On Time sport TV channel on Sunday night.

The record eight-time African Champions Ahly will be facing Wydad Casablanca of Morocco in the semis, while Zamalek, who reached the final in 2016 before losing to South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns, will meet Moroccan side Raja.

"It is a great pleasure to see Cairo's stadium hosting big tournaments. We will do our best to end the negotiations successfully through this week especially amid the concrete cooperation from the English company," the minister added.

The first leg matches of the Champions League semi final are due to be played on 1 or 2 May in Morocco, while the return matches will be played on 8 or 9 May in Egypt.

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