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Egypt's Football Association refuses to aid cash-strapped clubs

The Egyptian Football Association turns down a request for financial aid from the struggling clubs after the Premier League was cancelled for the second consecutive season

Hatem Maher, Wednesday 7 Aug 2013
Egyptian Premier League
Views: 722
Views: 722

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) is not willing to financially aid the Premier League cash-strapped clubs who are facing an uphill climb to stay afloat after domestic football activity was frozen.

An EFA official, who was not named, told Ahram's Arabic sports website the association was not in a position to help the struggling clubs, having posted heavy losses after the Premier League was cancelled for the second successive season.

"The EFA is not in a healthy financial position. The association incurred heavy losses because of the league's cancellation. We were also fined by our sponsor," the source added.

"The EFA board members will sit down with sports minister Taher Abou-Zeid to ask him for financial support from the ministry. The EFA is also seeking to get around LE35 million of overdue payments from the Egyptian Radio and Television Union."

Egyptian clubs breathed a sigh of relief after the new league season started last February following a one-year stoppage of domestic football due to the 2012 Port Said disaster.

However, the political turmoil that followed the Egyptian army's overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi on 3 July prompted the EFA to call off the competition just before the final four-team playoff, citing security concerns.

Most of the Premier League clubs had to dispense with some of their stars to survive, including Cairo giants Zamalek who also failed to renew the deal of Brazilian coach Jorvan Vieira.

Ahly, Zamalek's Cairo foes, called on their players to support the team in a rare financial difficulty for Egypt's most professional club, with their stars threatening to strike in protest over unpaid wages.

Wadi Degla, one of Egypt's privately-owned clubs, parted company with all their players amid uncertainty over whether the new league season could start anytime soon.

Television revenue is the main source of income for Egyptian clubs, who often play in front of empty stadiums.

Clubs with large fan bases in coastal cities, such as Ittihad of Alexandria and Ismailia's Ismaily, struggle to make use of their popularity to generate income, only attracting low-profile sponsors.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports)


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