Ahly-Zamalek derby’s stadium dilemma resolved

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Monday 8 Feb 2016

Egyptian Champions Zamalek agree to play the anticipated Cairo derby with Ahly at Alexandria’s Borg El-Arab stadium

Zamalek's Ayman Hefny (L) fights for the ball with Ahly's Hossam Ashour (R) (Photo: Reuters)

Zamalek have agreed early on Monday to face rivals Ahly in Tuesday’s Egyptian league derby at Alexandria’s Borg El Arab Stadium, the club said. 

The White Knights' outspoken chairman Mortada Mansour insisted earlier this week that his club won't face Ahly in Alexandria. He asked the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) to move the match to Cairo's Petrosport stadium, saying Ahly had no right to change the three venues they chose to host their games at the beginning of the season.

"Zamalek agree to play Ahly at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab Stadium," the club said in a brief statement. 

Egyptian media reported that Mansour agreed to play in Alexandria after having his request turned down by security officials. The EFA said the ball was in the court of the interior ministry to move the match.

Story of Borg El Arab Stadium

Earlier in the season, Ahly had chosen three stadiums – Petro Sport, Cairo and Air Defense – to host their home matches, but were forced to play at Petro Sport only due to security reasons.

Following a string of poor results, Ahly asked the EFA to move their home games from the narrow Petro Sport to Borg El-Arab, where the club already played two games.

Although the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) announced Thursday that the derby would take place at Borg El-Arab, Mansour firstly threatened to boycott the match and also to quit his post before retracting his decision.

Ahly have already travelled to Alexandria on Saturday, while their opponents are expected to follow suit on Monday. 

Ahly sit on top of the league table with 35 points, four ahead of Zamalek after 15 matches.

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