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Friday, 14 May 2021

Ahly to host Orlando Pirates behind closed doors

Egyptian security authorities hope Ahly fans will respect the ongoing crowd ban ahead of Sunday's anticipated match

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Saturday 3 Aug 2013
Ahly fans celebrate after their team scored a goal against derby rivals Zamalek during their CAF Champions League soccer match at El-Gouna stadium in Hurghada (Photo: Reuters)

Ahly will host South Africa's Orlando Pirates on Sunday at Gouna Stadium behind closed doors, security authorities confirmed on Saturday.

During the current season in Egypt, matches have been played behind closed doors due to security concerns.

The Ultras Ahlawy and Ultras White Knights, the hardcore supporters of Cairo giants Ahly and Zamalek, insisted they would attend the two teams’ matches last month at the same stadium, even if by force.

Despite stressing that the crowd ban is still in place, the interior ministry have allowed a few thousand fans to attend the African derby, but this time the matter seems to be different.

"Fans will not be allowed to attend the match," the Red Sea security directorate announced in a statement on Saturday.

"Ahly fans must cooperate with us as any riot attempts will be addressed firmly," the statement added.

Gouna is a Red Sea resort 430km away from Cairo.

The Egyptian Premier League has been effectively called off for the second consecutive season due to lingering security concerns in the wake of Egyptian president Morsi’s ouster by the army on 3 July.

Champions League Group A is level after the first round, with Zamalek-Ahly (1-1) and Orlando Pirates-AC Leopards (0-0).

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