Ahly and Zamalek in separate groups as Egypt announce new season draw

Eslam Omar, Monday 2 Dec 2013

After two successive cancelled seasons, the Egyptian Premier League will go on despite security concern as EFA announced draw Monday

Ahly vs Zamalek
Zamalek's Ahmed Eied (L) fights for the ball against derby rivals Al Ahly's Abdallah El Saied during their CAF Champions League soccer match at El-Gouna stadium in Hurghada, about 464 km (288 miles) from the capital Cairo July 24, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) drew up on Monday the groups for the Egyptian Premier League's new season at their headquarter in 6th of October.

The formation of 22 teams has separated Cairo giants Ahly from Zamalek:

Group A is as follows: Ahly, ENPPI, Somouha, El-Dakhelya, Ittihad of Alexandria, Al-Rajaa, Arab Contractors, Gouna, Maqassa, El-Entag El-Harby and Ghazl El-Mahalla.

Group B: Zamalek, Ismaily, Masry, Petrojet, Talae El-Gaish, Canal, Menya, Ittihad El-Shorta, Beni Suef Telephones, Wadi Degla and Haras El-Hodoud.

At the end of the season, five teams will be relegated and three promoted, leaving 20 teams for the subsequent season. The following season will see five teams relegated and three promoted, leaving 18 teams in the top league in the third season. The winner and runner-up in each group will qualify for the semifinal.

Egypt’s premier domestic competition was held with the same two-group format in the 1957-58, 1962-63, 1963-64, 1975-76 and 2012-13 seasons.

The start of the season has been twice delayed due to lack of coordination between the association and security authorities.

Two successive seasons have been abandoned midway through as a result of security concerns. Competition was frozen in February 2012 after clashes in a Port Said stadium left 72 Ahly fans dead. Seventeen months later, yet another season was cancelled in the wake of violence left behind by mass protests over the ousting of elected president Mohamed Morsi.

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