EFA allows some fans at Egyptian League matches, raises number of squad's foreign players

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Sunday 11 Feb 2018

EFA's board member Magdy Abdul-Ghani in Sundy's press conference (Photo: EFA's official facebook page)

Three hundred fans from each opposing club will officially return to the stands for this season's remaining Egyptian Premiere League matches, and clubs will be allowed to register four foreign players in their squads for every game instead of three, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) announced on Sunday.

"Three hundred supporters for each club will be allowed to attend the remaining matches of the Egyptian Premiere League season," the EFA said in a statement via its official Facebook page after a meeting between the board and club officials on Sunday.

Football fans have been banned from domestic league in Egypt since February 2012, when 72 Ahly supporters died in clashes between fans at Port Said stadium.

"Fans will attend Egypt Cup matches normally, but every club will take full responsibility for its supporters," the statement explained.

"All agreed in the meeting to stiffen the rioting sanctions through banning clubs from fans support in some matches to deter anyone who thinks to violate the regulations," the statement continues.

"Also the rioting sanctions for technical staffs and players will be hardened," the EFA added.

The crowd ban in Egypt was briefly lifted in January 2015 but immediately reimposed after 20 Zamalek fans died in a stampede when police used tear gas to disperse crowds lined up to attend a regular league game against Enppi.

In the past five years, authorities have permitted a limited number of fans to attend African championship games and national team matches, as per FIFA rules.

Four foreign players instead of three

Also in Sunday's meeting, the football association agreed to allow the clubs to register four foreign players in their squads for the reaming matches of the season, instead of three.

"The four players can be included in the squads in the coming matches but the coaches should use only three on the field," EFA's board member, Magdy Abdul-Ghani, announced in the press conference after the meeting.

At the season's start, the EFA raised the foreign players' number of each club to sign four instead of three, but it was allowed to select three only for every match.

"Syrian players will be considered as foreigners again starting from the next season. They will continue to be considered Egyptians only until the end of this season," Abdul-Ghani concluded.

Earlier on February, Egyptian Sports Minister Khaled Abdel-Aziz said that fans will be allowed to attend Egypt Cup games, a move that will end the five-year ban on crowds at domestic football matches.

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