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Ittihad president calls on players to show solidarity with Egyptian clubs amid coronavirus crisis

Ittihad presidents says those who can't see the situation of the coronavirus crisis are blind

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Monday 13 Apr 2020
Mohamed Mosalhi
Ittihad president calls players to show solidarity with Egyptian clubs amid coronavirus crisis (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Ittihad of Alexandria president Mohamed Moselhi has called on players of the Egyptian Premier League to show solidarity with their clubs amid the current worldwide coronavirus crisis.

Football activity in Egypt has been suspended since 14 March after the government decided to tighten measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.

"Those who can't see the situation are blind. Most of the players in Egyptian clubs got 50 percent or a little bit less of their annual dues. In Ittihad, who gave our players 65 percent of their dues," Moselhi told ONTime Sports TV channel on Sunday.

As this season's fate is still in limbo, like in most countries, there have been calls for the salaries of Premier League players to be cut to reduce the financial impact of the pandemic on their clubs.

Officials in clubs have so far been shy in speaking on the subject, but several former players said the sport's leading stars, especially those playing for prominent clubs like Ahly and Zamalek, should take the initiative.

Already some clubs and managers have taken some cuts in their salaries and Moselhi believes players should also play their role amid the expected negative impact on football finances including transfers, contracts and wages.

"We don't have sufficient resources at this time. How is it that a player is asking for his remaining financial dues while football matches are on hold?" the president of the Alexandria-based club said.

Earlier in April, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) launched an initiative to support players in the third and fourth divisions amid the coronavirus crisis, stressing that all "football stars, Premier League clubs and all football fans" are welcome to contribute to help their counterparts.

Last week, Arab Contractors Club announced cutting this month's salaries of first team players and staff by 50 percent to preserve employees' wages.

The Arab Contractors are not the first to take this step. Pyramids FC announced earlier cutting players’ wages to donate 500 medical units.

Ittihad of Alexandria’s coach Talaat Youssef and technical staff members gave up 50 percent of their salaries since football activities have been paused.

"There are homes that currently need only EGP 50. Football player get a huge salary every month while workers and employees deserve help with the small amounts of money currently at the club," Moselhi said.

"I don't speak about Ittihad players only, but about Egyptian clubs in general. In the coming years, the massive football deals of the past years will not exist anymore.

"Clubs don't know their destiny in the coming year. Let me say that there are more than 10 clubs who want to cancel the league's season because of lack of financial resources.

"Players have rights, but the current situation should make everyone think. I assert that if the league resumes, all players will get their dues normally," he said. 

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

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