Tunisia allows 5,000 fans to attend Esperance-Ahly clash pending CAF approval

Ahram Online , Tuesday 15 Jun 2021

The decision needs to be approved by African governing body CAF

ES Tunis fans cheer for their team prior to the CAF Champions League second leg final football match between Egypt's Al-Ahly and Tunisia's ES Tunis at the Olympic stadium in Rades on November 9, 2018 AFP

Tunisian authorities will allow up to 5,000 supporters to attend Esperance's home clash against Ahly in the first leg of the African Champions League semi-final on Saturday, the Tunisian giants have confirmed.

Esperance said in a statement on their official website that they were nevertheless disappointed that only a small number will be allowed in the stands of the 60,000-capacity Hammadi Agrebi Stadium in Rades.

"The authorization from Tunisian authorities stipulates that only 5,000 spectators will be permitted to attend the match … A small number, far from what the club and its supporters hoped," the statement read.

"(African governing body) CAF should be notified of this decision by the club's administration in the coming hours in order to officially ratify it."

Most of Champions League games have been held behind closed doors this season due to lingering COVID-19 concerns in the hard-hit continent.

Egyptian reports suggested that Ahly would make the same request to local authorities to allow a limited number of fans to attend the second leg in Cairo on 26 June.

Ahly are bidding for a second consecutive Champions League crown and a record-extending 10th triumph, while Esperance are seeking to reclaim the trophy after back-to-back wins in 2018 and 2019.

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