EFA members speak during a news conference (Photo courtesy of the EFA official Facebook page)
The head of the Normalisation Committee of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) Amr El-Ganainy said the Egyptian Premier League's schedule will be announced soon but that pending, unclear issues were delaying the announcement.
“There are many dates that have to be set by the Confederation of the African Football (CAF) before announcing our complete schedule and when the season will end,” El-Ganainy told a presser on Monday during the unveiling of the Egyptian Premier League's new ball.
“Within a week we will announce at least three or four rounds of the Egyptian Premier League. We will restart on 7 or 8 August,” he added.
The CAF announced last week that inter-clubs competitions will resume in September in a final four format but it is yet to communicate the exact dates. There are three Egyptian teams who have reached the semi-finals as Ahly and Zamalek are facing Wydad and Raja of Morocco in the Champions League semi-finals while Pyramids FC will face Horoya of Guinea in the Confederation Cup.
The African governing body also announced it has postponed the Africa Cup of Nations for one year until 2022.
“Postponing the Africa Cup of Nations will help us end the next season on time, as we hope to finish the league before the Olympics,” El-Ganainy explained.
The U23 Pharaohs have qualified for Tokyo Games after winning the U23 Africa Cup of Nations that was held in Egypt in 2019. They are hoping to claim a first-ever medal in football for the country during the world's most prestigious sports event that has also been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Egypt has suspended sports activities since mid-March due to the virus, but the government has decided to allow sports to resume starting 20 June.
Starting from 1 July Egypt has been gradually going back to normal as it has reopened airports for regular international flights, restaurants, sporting clubs and mosques under strict precautionary measures and lifted the country’s nighttime curfew.
The government has given the green light to resume the league starting from 25 July. The EFA has already conducted medical tests for all the clubs and many have already resumed their trainings.
El-Ganainy stressed that the EFA is trying to bridge the gap with international football saying, “we said we will implement the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology by the beginning of the second half of the season and we fulfilled our promise. We are one of the oldest federations in the world. In 2021 we will celebrate our 100th anniversary. It is a shame we are not on the same level with the world's top standard. We will do anything that will improve the quality of the Egyptian football.”
He also revealed that the EFA is contacting Liverpool star Mohamed Salah to find the suitable time for him to celebrate his unprecedented achievement of being the first Egyptian to win the English Premier League.
The EFA held a press conference on Monday to present the new Egyptian Premier League football that will be used in the rest of the games of the current season.
“We arranged with Puma to provide us with 100 balls for the rest of the matches of the season. Each team will receive 50 balls for matches and trainings, and during the next year there will be 3,000 balls,” said the EFA board member Mohamed Fadl during the presser.
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