Cairo Stadium (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Saturday's Egypt Cup final will take place at Cairo Stadium rather than Aswan after Zamalek and Smouha objected to playing in the searing heat of the Upper Egyptian governorate, the country's football association confirmed on Wednesday.
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) initially announced the game would be played in Aswan to mark the inauguration of a new stadium but the chairmen of Cairo giants Zamalek and Alexandria-based club Smouha vehemently rejected the decision.
In summer, temperatures usually exceed 40 degrees Celsius in the southern Egyptian city.
"After a meeting involving EFA officials, Zamalek chairman and Smouha's vice-chairman it was agreed that it will be technically difficult to hold the match in Aswan," the EFA said in a statement on its official website.
"The relevant parties agreed to stage the match in Cairo. The EFA chairman, Zamalek chairman … and the youth minister have been authorized to meet with the interior minister and urge him to allow fans back to the stands."
Zamalek, who finished third in the Egyptian Premier League, are chasing their second successive cup title.
Smouha, this season's surprise package who finished runners-up to Ahly in the league before beating the Red Devils in the cup's semi-final, are seeking to win their first ever trophy.
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