Ahly held to a 0-0 draw against rivals Zamalek in the Egyptian League derby at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab stadium amid heavy rains on 30 March 2019 (Photo: Ahram)
Egypt is ready to host the anticipated all-Egyptian African Champions League final between Ahly and Zamalek on 27 November at Cairo International Stadium, Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhy revealed on Sunday.
The Cairo giants are supposed to meet at Alexandria’s Borg El-Arab stadium in the prestigious tournament final, but doubts rose in recent hours over the readiness of the playground to host the match amid expected heavy rains in the coastal city.
“We hope that the match will be played at Cairo stadium. Egypt celebrates the first ever Champions League final between Ahly and Zamalek,” Sobhy told a TV programme.
“Cairo stadium was supposed to be renovated on November, but we agreed with the officials to postpone the grass transplant procedure until after the final is played,” the minister added.
In the spring of 2019, in an infamous league game played at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab, Ahly and Zamalek miserably failed to introduce their usual football due to a playground debalitated by the city's typical seasonal rains.
Egyptian football fans fear another debacle if the game is played in Borg El-Arab with bad weather forcast in Alexandria around the end of the month.
Ahly reached the final after beating Morocco's Wydad 5-1 on aggregate, while Zamalek qualified following overcoming another Casablanca-based team, Raja, with a 4-1 aggregate victory.
Ahly are eyeing a record-extending ninth Champions League title and their first since 2013 while Zamalek are seeking to win the coveted prize for the first time since their fifth triumph in 2002.
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