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Al Ahly, EFA dispute as Red Devils refuse to play in Assiut
Al Ahly’s board disapprove of the appointed stadium for the match and have threatened to forfeit if it is not changed.
The Reds demand to play in the Beni Suef Stadium, which was the set venue before the kick-off of the 2014/2015 Egyptian Premier League season. However, the EFA sent a letter on Wednesday, October 22nd – four days before the match – informing Al Ahly that the venue has been changed to Asmant Assiut Stadium.
Tharwat Swailam, EFA’s executive director, responded to the Red Devils’ football director Alaa Abdel-Sadek’s letter by saying that in case Al Ahly refuse to play the match in Assiut, the EFA will consider it a 2-0 win for Assiouty Sport.
“We have informed Al Ahly of this change before Ismaily’s match, thus, Al Ahly had enough time,” he added.
On the contrary, Al Ahly’s board considers time to be the problem; the schedule has permitted 3 days for Al Ahly between the match against Ismaily in El-Gouna and the other against Assiouty Sport.
A period during which Al Ahly is supposed to return back to Cairo, train, then travel to Assiut by bus, because the Assiut Airport is under reconstruction; which would clearly cause the fatigue of players – especially the Egypt internationals who have an important game against Senegal next month, a 2015 AFCON qualifier.
In addition, the Ahly board believes there is no reason for the match to be moved to Assiut, given that since the start of the league season, there have been no problems regarding the security of matches throughout the five weeks of action. Moreover, security forces in Beni Suef have not expressed their refusal to secure this match.
Out of the 6 clubs that will have faced Assiouty Sport come Sunday, the Egyptian champions have been the only club subject to this venue change.
Alaa Abdel-Sadek ended the letter by making it clear that Al Ahly will hold on to the right to play this match in Beni Suef.