Egypt's clubs to resume training on 20 June, league likely on 25 July

Ahram Online , Monday 15 Jun 2020

The Ministry of Youth and Sports issued a guideline with strict measures to be applied when sports activities resume

File Photo: Zamalek's Ibrahim Hassan shoots at goal as Al Ahly's Hussein El Shahat attempts to block (Photo: Reuters)

Egyptian clubs will resume training starting 20 June after they had been given the green light by the government on Monday, paving the way for the league to resume starting 25 July after a four-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"The government has agreed to restart the league under strict precautionary measures. We saw several countries like Germany, England, Spain and Italy have resumed their competitions and Egypt can too after applying all necessary measures," Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhi said at a press conference on Monday.

Sobhi said the decision was made after reviewing the instructions and decisions of the cabinet's Crisis Committee, the Ministry of Health and Population, the World Health Organisation and the latest FIFA instructions (May 2020).

“The preparation period before resuming the season may take three weeks as is the case with the English Premier League, or maybe less than that like in other countries, but we need to be sure that it’s not all about football. We have a guideline on how to resume sports activities according to strict precautionary measures, and every association that wants to resume its activities has to follow the instructions,” he added.

The ministry unveiled a guideline for resuming training and sports activities with strict measures to be applied before, during and after the games and in case of infection among any participant.

"It is the responsibility of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) and the clubs to apply all preventive and precautionary measures," Sobhi concluded.

"We will hold a meeting with clubs in the next few days to discuss all the issues and their upcoming fixtures. I hope that everybody will put ahead the best interest of football in Egypt before announcing any decisions and we will do our best to help everybody to resume their activities," EFA head Amr El-Ganainy said.

Several clubs and coaches have asked to call off this season to avoid risking the health of their players and to avoid having a busy schedule which could also harm their players after the long break, especially without a proper preparation period.

"We have already prepared a medical guideline that will be distributed among clubs regarding all the measures and regulations that need to be applied," El-Ganainy said.

Officials have voiced their concerns that the new measures will burden their financials that have been squeezed since the competitions were halted in mid-March.

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