Egypt's Ahly asks CAF to postpone Stade Malien return leg clash

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Saturday 5 May 2012

Ahly football team seeks more time to prepare for Stade Malien after being stranded in Mali during the military coup last week

Ahly players (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's club Ahly have asked the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to postpone the club's anticipated game with Stade Malien in the CAF Champions League by two days.

The Red Devils were supposed to host the Malian team in the Cairo stadium on 12 May in the return leg of the tournament's round of 16, but they asked for a new date after being stranded for five days in Mali during the military counter-coup on Monday. The Cairo team was in Mali for a match on Sunday, where they were defeated 1-0 in the first leg.

"We sent a letter to CAF requesting to hold the match on 14 May because of our team's delay in Mali," the Egyptian club said in a statement on its official website on Saturday.

After returning safely from Mali on Friday, Ahly's Portuguese coach Manuel Jose said he will grant his players a two-day reprieve to help them return to full fitness after the tense days in Mali.

The management of Egyptian champions, Ahly, have confirmed recently that they are committed to the decision of Egyptian authorities to ban fans from attending the Stade Malien match in a Cairo stadium, considering the country's current circumstances.

There have been serious concerns about possible violence since February's deadly Port Said disaster, which left more than 70 persons dead, over 300 injured and resulted in the suspension of all domestic Egyptian football activities.

Egyptian teams Ahly, Zamalek and Enppi have been playing their home games in the African club competitions behind closed doors since the Port Said tragedy.

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