No title will be awarded prematurely in Egyptian premiere league, says El-Ganainy

Mahmoud Sheleib , Tuesday 2 Jun 2020

Amr El-Ganainy
Head of the Egyptian Football Association Amr El Ganainy (Al-Ahram)

The Egyptian Football Association chairman Amr El-Ganainy has said that there are no intentions to announce Ahly champion of the current premier league season.

“There are still 17 rounds that haven’t been played, and there are teams who have played less matches, so the situation is very hard, and the idea of crowning a particular team is excluded,” El-Ganainy told ON Sport radio station.

“Everyone speaks out of their own interests only, while we seek what is best for Egyptian football,” he added.

Defending champions Ahly are the overwhelming favourites to win a fifth straight title as they top the table with 49 points, 16 ahead of the nearest challengers Arab Contractors, who have played one game more than Ahly.

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) suspended all footballing activities on 15 March as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but has not yet made an official decision regarding the future of the season.

El-Ganainy was announced by FIFA as the head of the normalisation committee to direct football in Egypt following the resignation of the EFA board members after the Pharaohs’ early elimination from the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations hosted by Egypt.

El-Ganainy said that there is a 50 percent chance of resuming the local competitions, as each EFA committee has issued full reports which correspond with FIFA’s instructions, and is waiting for directions from the government.

“We are preparing many scenarios, but the fate of the current season is 100 percent the Egyptian government’s decision,” El-Ganainy explained.

When asked about whether he wishes to see the resumption of the season, he said that resuming the football competition would be his biggest success as EFA head, but football activity cannot return without strong medical precautions.

“We all know that the clubs and the national teams have a busy agenda for the next season, and there will come a time when we won’t be able to extend the season anymore, as the upcoming season has to be finished by 1 June to provide the U-23 national team enough time to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics scheduled for June 2021,” he said.

“One of the scenarios to resume the premier league is each team will play two matches per week, while the Egypt Cup will be held without risk as the danger of playing nine matches is much less than playing 147 matches,” El-Ganainy explained.

The government has launched a three-phase plan to see suspended facilities re-open under new safety measures, such as mandatory mask-wearing, with officials saying it is necessary for the country to “coexist” with the virus.

According to the latest health ministry statement, Egypt registered 1,399 new coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing the total to 26,384 cases, with a death toll of 1,005 nationwide.

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