Egyptian league game cancelled as coronavirus-hit Masry fail to show up

Mahmoud Elassal , Friday 14 Aug 2020

Masry were scheduled to face Ismaily on Friday

File photo of Masry (the club's official Twitter account)

An Egyptian Premier League game was called off on Friday as Masry failed to show up after almost two dozen members contracted the coronavirus, with Ismaily expected to be awarded a walkover win.

Masry said their squad does not include a sufficient number of players to feature in the game, hitting out the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) for turning down their request to delay the game.

The Port Said-based club said earlier on Friday that the number of infected players and staff members had increased to 20, after players underwent PCR tests ahead of the scheduled game.

"Masry’s management has asked the Egyptian Football Association to make a fair decision on the game due to the ongoing circumstances and is asking the latter to postpone the coming league game," read a statement by Masry.

"We will continue playing our league games after the team's players recover from the coronavirus."

Masry said that eight members of the team's technical staff, including coach Tarek El-Ashry, had tested positive for the virus.

The statement added that 14 players had tested positive, of whom six had recovered but are currently following the health ministry’s protocol.

The team said they have only eight players available for the game as another seven players are out of the squad due to injuries and suspensions.

"We failed to call young players from the youth team to complete the squad after the EFA decided to suspend the second level division's league due to the coronavirus pandemic," Masry also said.

Masry are the second Egyptian team to report more than a dozen coronavirus cases; El-Entag El-Harby had a match against FC Masr rescheduled last week after 19 players and non-playing staff tested positive for the virus.

The domestic competition restarted last week with a match between Zamalek and Masry after a five-month hiatus due to the pandemic.

Title-holders Ahly are leading the league table with 52 points after playing 18 matches, 17 points ahead of second-placed Pyramids FC, who have played one game more.

Masry are in tenth place with 20 points from 17 matches, while Ismaily are ninth in the table with 22 points after playing 18 games.

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