Zamalek-Ahly African derby delayed again

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Wednesday 17 Jul 2013

Match will now be played behind closed doors at 4:30pm on Wednesday 24 July at El-Gouna Stadium


The African Champions League match between Cairo rivals Ahly and Zamalek will be played on Wednesday 24 July instead of the preceding Monday, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) has announced.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) had initially delayed the match 24 hours for marketing reasons before deciding on the new date.

"The match will be held on Wednesday 24 July at 4:30 instead of the preceding Monday," EFA spokesman Azmy Megahed said.

The highly anticipated showdown will be held behind closed doors at El-Gouna Stadium, 22km north of Hurghada’s International Airport.

Hardcore fans of both teams have threatened to attend the match by force. The CAF warned that the match would be cancelled if violence took place.

The future of the match was uncertain, as officials debated whether or not to hold the match outside Egypt due to the unstable political situation.

Ahly are eyeing a second successive Champions League triumph, while success-starved Zamalek are chasing their first continental title since 2002.

"The match delay will not affect our preparations as the Zamalek team is fully ready," the Whites' newly-appointed manager Helmy Tolan said on Tuesday.

Ahly coach Mohamed Youssef was angered by the delay, saying that it could disrupt his team's preparations.

Ahly and Zamalek were both drawn in Group A of the African tournament, alongside South Africa's Orlando Pirates and AC Leopards de Dolisie of DR Congo.

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