Ahly to host Mazembe in closed-door Champions League opener
Hatem Maher, Sunday 1 Jul 2012
Prevailing security concerns force Egyptian football clubs to hold respective African matches behind closed doors

Ahly will have to do without their fans when they host DR Congo's TP Mazembe in their opening African Champions League group-stage game next Sunday.

Mazembe, the 2009 and 2010 Champions League winners, have recently demanded that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) move their scheduled game against Ahly to a venue outside Egypt, in light of prevailing security concerns.

Ahly has insisted the match be held in Cairo, however, albeit behind closed doors. Since February's Port Said stadium disaster, Egypt's interior ministry has refused to provide security at football games.

"Our fans will not be attending the match," Ahly, the record winners of Africa's premier club competition with six titles under their belt, said in a brief statement published on their website.

Earlier this year, the interior ministry set ten safety 'requirements' that must be met by Egyptian clubs if it is to provide security at domestic matches.

Ahly are currently playing in Group B of the Champions League, along with bitter rivals Zamalek, Mazembe and Ghana's Chelsea.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at@AO Sportsand on Facebookat AhramOnlineSports)