Interior ministry rejects Ahly request to face Ethiopian Coffee in Cairo

Hatem Maher, Saturday 31 Mar 2012

Ahly not be permitted to play its home African Champions League fixture in Cairo, says interior ministry, citing security conditions

Ahly will not be able to face Ethiopian Coffee in Cairo (Photo: Ahram)

The interior ministry has turned down Ahly’s request to play their home African Champions League fixture against Ethiopian Coffee in Cairo, the club said Saturday.

The Red Devils were due to host the Ethiopian outfit at Cairo’s Military Academy Stadium on 8 April in the second leg of Round 32 of the competition.

“We have received a letter from security officials in which they said they had not accepted our request to play the Ethiopian Coffee game in Cairo,” Ahly said in a statement on its website.

“They said the conditions the public prosecutor set to secure any game are not in place.”

The interior ministry has declined to secure any match following the Port Said disaster, which left at least 70 fans dead on 1 February.

Domestic football activities have been suspended since, while the Egyptian Premier League season was called off earlier this month.

The interior ministry sent a letter to the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) last week setting 10 conditions that must be met before it can give the thumps-up for the resumption of football activities in the country.

However, given the financial struggle of most Egyptian clubs, they are unlikely to implement the new safety measures that would cost much money.

Zamalek, Ahly’s arch-rivals, were the only side to play a competitive game in Egypt following the Port Said tragedy. They played two Champions League matches against Tanzania’s Young Africans and Ivorian side Africa Sports, albeit behind closed doors.

Ahly did not clarify whether they would seek to play abroad. The first leg ended in a goalless draw in Ethiopia.

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