Ahly to kick off new league race in Mahalla, Zamalek to host Ittihad

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Tuesday 22 Jan 2013

Egyptian Football Association (EFA) announces draw for the 18-team-two-groups Premier League's new season

An Egyptian protester waves a flare during a rally of thousands of soccer fans of Egypt's most popular team, Al-Ahly, in Tahrir Square, the focal point of Egyptian uprising, in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013 (Photo: AP)

Ghazl El-Mahalla will host Cairo giants Ahly in the Egyptian League new season's opener, while rivals Zamalek will take on Ittihad of Alexandria in Cairo, according to the tournament's draw that was announced Tuesday.

The Egyptian Premier League, scheduled to begin 2 February, will skip directly to the second round since the first was postponed indefinitely.

All Egyptian domestic football activities have been suspended since last February when 72 Ahly fans were killed and hundreds injured in the Port Said football massacre.

A verdict in the trial accusing a number of security officials is expected Saturday 26 January 26, one day after the 25 January revolution's second anniversary.

Earlier this month, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) announced the tournament which combines a total of 18 teams, will be played over two groups for the fifth time in the competition’s 65-year history.

Ahly, who won the league’s last edition in 2011, were drawn in Group A along with ENPPI, Harras El-Hodoud, Ghazl El-Mahalla, Beni Suef Telephones, Wadi Degla, Maqassa, Smouha and Gouna.

Zamalek, Ahly's long-time rivals, were paired on Group B alongside Ismaily, Dakhleya, Ittihad of Alexandria, El-Inttag El-Harby, Ittihad Al-Shorta, Petrojet, Talae El-Geish and Arab Contractors.

The winners and runners-up of each group will qualify for the semifinals.

All Egyptian Premier League week 1 matches:

Group 1:
Somoha V. Bani Swaif Telephoes
Wadi Degla V. Haras El-Hodoud
Ghal El-Mahallah V. Ahly
Maqassa V. ENPPI
No match for Gouna

Group 2:                      
Ismaily V. Tala El-Geish
Zamalek V. Ittihad of Alexandria
El-Entag El-Harby V. Ittihad El-Shorta
Arab Contractors V. El-Dakheliya
No match for Petrojet

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