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Sunday, 05 July 2020

Egyptian league's current season should be cancelled, says Zamalek skipper Shikabala

Mahmoud Elassal , Friday 29 May 2020
Zamalek
Zamalek's Shikabala (Reuters)
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Zamalek winger Mahmoud “Shikabala” Abdel-Razeq has said that he prefers the Egyptian Premier League's current season be cancelled rather than resume after more than two months’ suspension due to the coronavirus.

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) suspended all footballing activities on 15 March as a result of the pandemic, but has not yet made an official decision regarding the future of the season.

"The most important thing is the players' safety," Shikabala told a local television programme on Friday morning.

"We have to know that all the players have families and they fear for them," the Zamalek star added.

Germany’s Bundesliga returned to action two weeks ago and most of the European leagues have said they will resume playing next month after similar periods of suspension.

"What happened in Europe and Germany is different from Egypt as they have only seven or eight games in hands to finish their tournaments, whereas here we still have a full round," Shikabala said.

"I think we have to wait for another time, especially after the infected numbers of coronavirus increased; then we can start a new season.”

Runaway leaders Ahly, who are overwhelming favourites to win a fifth straight league title, have welcomed talks of resuming the season, saying that it is essential to avert drastic financial losses for clubs.

However, most other Premier League clubs, including Zamalek, Ismaily, Masry, Smouha, Tanta and Wadi Degla, have said they want the season cancelled due to the health concerns.

Egypt’s coronavirus cases have topped 20,000 so far, with 845 deaths.

The government has launched a three-phase plan to see suspended facilities re-open under new safety measures, such as mandatory mask-wearing, with officials saying it is necessary for the country to “coexist” with the virus. 

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

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