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Egyptian league to continue after AFCON concludes: EFA

The Ahly-Zamalek derby will be played on 30 July, according to the Egyptian Football Association

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Tuesday 11 Jun 2019
Ahly and Zamalek players (Al-Ahram)
Ahly and Zamalek players (Al-Ahram)

The Egyptian Premier League will continue after the conclusion of the African Cup of Nations, which will be hosted by Egypt later this month, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) revealed in a statement on Monday night.

"Zamalek will face rivals Gouna on 23 July, four days after the African Cup ends, while Ahly will take on Arab Contractors three days later," said the EFA's statement.

"The league's final match will be on 30 July as Ahly will meet Zamalek in the derby," the statement added.

Egypt is hosting this year’s Nations Cup, which has been expanded to 24 teams. It will take place from 21 June to 19 July.

With only two rounds remaining, the domestic League is currently suspended due to the national team's preparations for the prestigious tournament amid strong objections from title-holders Ahly, who want to end the competition ahead of the African event.

The EFA expressed appreciation for Ahly's demands, but insisted that time is too limited to complete the league competition ahead of the African Cup.

Ahly previously said that they would refuse to postpone the derby as they want to end the season early to get the proper time to prepare for the new season, adding that the announced schedule for the remaining matches does not provide justice for the competing clubs.

Ahly currently lead the league table with 74 points from 32 matches, five points ahead of second-placed Pyramids FC, who have played one match more. Zamalek lie third with 68 points from 31 matches.

The Reds also said that postponing the league until after the end of African Cup would be another problem in registering the team's African squad for the new season as the current deadline is 30 June.

"We already requested an exception from CAF to assign new players in the club's African squads from 30 June to 5 August," explained the EFA's statement.

"We also started discussions about deploying the Video Assistant Referees (VAR) starting the new season," the statement concluded.

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