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Friday, 23 July 2021

Lithuanian Mazeika to referee Ahly-Zamalek league derby

Ahram Online , Saturday 22 Feb 2020
Ahly's midfielder Aliou Dieng (C) vies for the ball against Zamalek's midfielder Tarek Hamed (R) during the Egyptian Super Cup final football match between Ahly SC and Zamalek SC at Mohammed Bin Zayed stadium in Abu Dhabi on February 20, 2020 AFP

Lithuanian referee Gediminas Mazeika will be in charge of Monday's Cairo derby between Ahly and Zamalek, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) announced on Saturday.

Mazeika, 41, regularly officiates games in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.

The announcement ends any doubts over the match's fate after reports suggested that it might be postponed due to Ahly and Zamalek's African Champions League commitments.

Zamalek host Tunisia's Esperance in the first leg of the competition's quarter-finals on Friday, one day before Ahly take on South African side Mamelodi Sundowns.

Although Ahly are firm favourites to win a fifth straight league title, as they boast a 14-point lead over Zamalek, Monday's derby is still expected to be heated.

It comes just four days after Zamalek defeated Ahly 4-3 on penalties following a 0-0 draw in the Egyptian Super Cup in Abu Dhabi, a game that was marred by brawls following the final whistle as tempers flared.

Several Ahly and Zamalek players are expected to be hit with suspensions before Monday's match.

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