Al-Merreikh withdraw request to host Egypt's Ahly in Sudan

Ahram Online , Tuesday 8 Mar 2022

Al-Merreikh said on Tuesday they had withdrawn a request to host Egypt's Ahly in Sudan in the African Champions League, saying they will stick to the original plan of playing the game in Cairo.

Ahly 3-2 Al-Merreikh
Ahly claimed a hard-fought 3-2 win over Al-Merreikh on Saturday in their African Champions League Group A game (Ahram)

Earlier in the day, the club sent a letter to the Confederation of African Football (CAF), demanding that the match be held at the Blue Jewel stadium in Omdurman, the home venue of Sudanese rivals Al-Hilal.

However, Al-Merreikh's chairman Hazem Mostafa said he had a change of heart.

"I'm the club's president and the game will be held in Cairo. I'm not going back on our promise," Mostafa told an Egyptian radio station.

An internal wrangling then ensued, with some Al-Merreikh board members trading blame for the confusion.

"We sent a letter to CAF asking to play the match in Sudan, but we retracted that. There are no divisions within the club, but there are different views after we played the first match in Cairo. But in the end, we are one country and one people," Mostafa added.

Last month, Al-Merreikh designated Cairo's Al-Salam Stadium as their home venue in the Champions League after their own stadium failed to meet CAF's newly-introduced criteria.

They gave illustrious opponents Ahly a run for their money in their Group A meeting on Saturday, coming from two goals down to level the score at 2-2 before the Red Devils secured a late 3-2 win.

Ahly and Al-Merreikh lie joint second in the group with four points, three behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa. Both sides meet in Cairo again later this month.

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