Security officials refuse to secure Zamalek's African clash

Mohamed Mosselhi, Thursday 7 Feb 2013

Security officials in Alexandria turned down Zamalek's request to play their upcoming game against Gazelle FC at Borg El-Arab stadium in Alexandria

File photo: Abdallah Cisse (R) of Egypt's Zamalek fights for the ball with Ahmed Adams of Ghana's Berekum Chelsea during their African Champions League (CAF) soccer match at the Military Stadium in Cairo September 1, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

Zamalek announced on Thursday that security officials in Alexandria has rejected the club's request to play their Champions League's preliminary round clash against Gazelle FC of Chad, scheduled on 17 February for security reasons.

"The club received a letter from security officials in Alexandria, refusing to secure Zamalek's African games in the governorate," read a statement on the club's official website on Thursday.

Domestic football has been on hold in Egypt since last year's Port Said disaster which left more than 70 dead and hundreds injured after clashes between Masry and Ahly fans.

In order to restore order at football matches and to provide security, the clubs, ministry of interior and ministry of defence have agreed to hold matches in stadiums owned by the military, like Borg El-Arab.

Zamalek have received the permission of the ministry of defence to play their African encounters at Borg El-Arab stadium with fans in attendance, but the security refusal came as a surprise for the White Knights, a few days before the game.

Ahly have also received a similar letter from Alexandrian officials but they have a larger space to seek alternatives as they will start start their campaign next March.  

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