Egypt authorities refuse to secure Zamalek-Ahly Africa match

Eslam Omar, Sunday 14 Jul 2013

Zamalek and Ahly may be forced to play CAF matches abroad after Egyptian authorities refuse to secure Cairo derby amid country's ongoing political crisis

 Egypt too busy for Zamalek-Ahly African match

Egyptian authorities have refused to secure the Zamalek v Ahly match in the CAF Champions League on 21 July.

"We are discussing alternative [venues for the match] with Zamalek," Egyptian Football Association (EFA) spokesperson Azmy Megahed was quoted as saying on its official website on Sunday.

Some observers have said the match might have to be played abroad.

The same security problem is expected to affect Ahly's Group A home match against South Africa's Orlando Pirates on 3 September.

Zamalek's second group match is away against AC Leopards de Dolisie of DR Congo.

Ahly Ultras protest

Ahly's die-hard supporters group, Ultras Ahlawy (UA07), said it opposed holding the Zamalek tie outside Egypt.

"We understand the circumstances but this is a big mistake and we call on the authorities to be responsible," it said via its 850,000-member Facebook page

The statement said "an important announcement" would be revealed on Monday.

It is expected to call for a demonstration against holding the match abroad.

Egyptian league 'impossible'

The Egyptian football season is expected to be cancelled for the second consecutive year due to security problems. Matches during the current season have been played behind closed doors.

"The interior ministry has refused to secure Week 18 of the league and has asked us to suspend it," EFA executive manager Tharwat Swailam said. "The association's efforts to resume the competition are becoming in vain and it's almost impossible that it will be held."

The premier domestic competition has been suspended indefinitely since the army toppled president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July following mass protests against his rule.

Cairo giants Ahly and Zamalek, coastal club Ismaily and ENPPI had qualified for the final mini-league section of the season.

Last season was cancelled at the halfway stage due to the Port Said disaster in February 2012. The competition restarted one year later.

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