Zamalek will not participate in the Cairo derby: Statement

Ahram Online , Monday 24 Jun 2024

Zamalek have decided not to appear at Cairo Stadium to face Ahly as scheduled on Tuesday as the board decided to escalate their dispute with the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) and the Egyptian Pro League (EPL).


“Our team will not be able to play in tomorrow’s league game due to exceptional circumstances involving the absence of fair play that is upheld by the rules and principles of football. We promise the team will return to competitions in the near future, and we appreciate all the efforts of all parties that support football in Egypt. We really did not wish to be absent from the pitches, but we were only left with that decision,” read a statement by the club’s board.

The statement came following a Monday meeting between Zamalek Chairman Hussein Labib, Minister of Sports Ashraf Sobhy and EPL chief Ahmed Diab in an attempt to prevent the crises and hold the game as scheduled, but it was to no avail.

According to the EPL regulations, Zamalek will be sanctioned with a forfeit with a 2–0 loss as well as a three-point deduction and fine.

Tensions between Zamalek and the EFA, as well as the EP, flared up after the White Knights 2-1 loss to Masry in a league game which saw a controversial decision from the referee concerning Ahmed ‘Zizo’ Sayed penalty.

Zizo’s kick hit the woodwork before being cleared by Masry defender Baher El-Mohammadi.

Zamalek officials strongly believed that the ball had crossed the goal line, contrary to the VAR decision.

After the game, the club issued a statement expressing their disappointment with what they described the "perceived lack of equal opportunity" in the league and raised concerns about specific refereeing decisions that influenced their defeat against Masry.

In their statement, Zamalek called upon the EFA to investigate the referee's performance and demanded to be informed of the investigation's results.

They also declared their refusal to continue participating in the league until their opponents have played their postponed games from the first round, emphasizing the significance of fairness and equal treatment for all teams.

Zamalek further insisted on the appointment of a neutral committee, independent of the EFA and the EPL, to oversee the reorganization of the remaining league matches.

The statement also noted that their game against Pharco FC would be their final match until they receive a comprehensive schedule for the remaining tournament fixtures.

Zamalek sit in 10th place in the league standings with 34 points from 20 games.

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

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