Referee caused pitch invasion says Ahly football director

Mahmoud Mohamed, Sunday 1 Jan 2012

The referee in an Ahly and Ghazl Mahalla game hesitated to allow a goal causing hundreds of Mahalla fans to invade the pitch according to Ahly director

Sayed Abdel-Hafiz
Ahly football director Sayed Abdel-Hafiz

Ahly football director Sayed Abdel-Hafiz announced that the referee of their Egyptian Premier League away game to Mahalla was what caused the rioting among Mahalla supporters.

“The referee allowed the goal to stand from the beginning, then he hesitated along with the line’s man when he went to ask him about the goal because of Mahalla players’ objection,” Abdel-Hafiz told a television programme.

The game was called off in the second half as hundreds of Mahalla fans stormed the pitch after a controversial own goal was allowed to stand by the referee.

Mahalla were leading the game 2-1 before their defender Amr Ramadan converted a cross from Ahly’s Walid Soliman into his own net nine minutes after the restart precipitating the saga.

“Mahalla supporters hailed Ahly players and fans before the game so the game was ideal and there is no problem with the fans,” Ahly football director aded.

The Egypt Football Association (EFA) competitions committee will hold a meeting on Sunday to identify those responsible for the rioting.

The Cairo giants Ahly are expected to be awarded a win while promoted Mahalla, whose first league match of the season against Masry also witnessed crowd troubles, are likely to face stiff sanctions.


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