Despite recent affirmations that Egypt's Premier League is set to start on time, the ongoing violence and instability in the country may make it impossible for the domestic competition to kick off as planned on 2 February.
Violent clashes between protesters and security forces have been taking place in a number of different governorates since Friday, the second anniversary of the January 25 revolution. The verdict in the notorious Port Said case, where 21 Masry football club fans were sentenced to death for their part in the massacre of over 70 Ahly football club fans at Port Said in February 2012, also stirred further violence.
Dozens were reportedly killed and hundreds injured in Port Said, Suez and Ismailia after the verdicts were announced. A state of emergency has been announced in these governorates.
Egyptian Football Association official Mahmoud El-Shami said on Sunday that the league will start as scheduled.
The football governing body has even set new venues for the Suez and Ismailia based-teams, due to security reasons.
EFA President Gamal Allam told local media that the preparations are going as scheduled and that there won't be any postponement or cancelation unless it is required officially.
He also said that football is not a priority right now and that the country's security and peace comes first.
The domestic league has been suspended since the Port Said disaster on 1 February 2012.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports)