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EFA postpones league games for month but stops short of meeting Ahly's demand

The league will resume after the U23 African Cup of Nations, which will take place in Egypt from 8-22 November

Ahram Online , Tuesday 22 Oct 2019
Zamalek's Ibrahim Hassan shoots at goal as Al Ahly's Hussein El Shahat attempts to block (Photo: Reuters)
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Views: 1869

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) decided on Tuesday to postpone domestic league matches for a month but stopped short of meeting a key demand from Cairo giants Ahly.

Ahly, furious after their Cairo derby encounter against Zamalek was postponed, insisted they would not play any league game until they meet their bitter rivals. The match's original date was 19 October.

The EFA, which is run by an interim five-man committee, said in a Tuesday statement that the matter was out of its hands as security authorities ordered that the derby be delayed.

But after Ahly opted against playing against Gouna on Wednesday in protest, the EFA decided to postpone the entire league round until after the U23 African Cup of Nations, which will take place in Egypt from 8-22 November.

"Upon a letter from the youth ministry and in light of security authorities' instructions as well as Egypt's hosting of the U23 Nations Cup …it was decided that the remaining matches of the fifth round and the sixth round will be held after the Nations Cup," the EFA said.

The governing body also said the Cairo derby will take place in the final round of the league's first half, contrary to Ahly's request.

The domestic league has been marred by too many delays to its matches in recent seasons, leading to numerous complaints from the majority of the Premier League clubs. Last season was played over the course of a whole year due to repeated interruptions.

The EFA's interim board vowed at the beginning of the season to hold a trouble-free competition but the early signs suggest otherwise.

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