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Egyptian FA selects controversial Scottish referee for Cairo derby

William Collum

Photo: Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images

Scottish referee Willie Collum has been chosen by the Egyptian FA to officiate the Cairo derby on Monday between Zamalek and Al Ahly.

This will be the final game of the 2016/17 Egyptian Premier League season that saw Al Ahly win the league with many games in hand and a rather disappointing season for Zamalek, as they will now finish in third place behind Al Ahly and Misr El-Maqassa.

Although, Al Ahly have already won the league, many are expecting the match to be a stormy affair due to the tensions between the two teams. In recent years, the FA has hired foreign referees to officiate the derby to avoid any accusals of the referee being in favor to one team over another.

The FA’s decision to choose Collum has stirred up controversy amongst Egyptian fans as he has shown to be a poor referee at times and the price to bring him to Alexandria to officiate the match at the Borg El-Arab Stadium in Alexandria. Willie Collum’s mistakes during the Scottish Premiership 2015/16 season led to him being “rested” for the rest of the campaign, meaning he could not officiate any more games for the rest of the season. In fairness to him, he recovered to enjoy an almost flawless display at Euro 2016 where he took charge of France’s 2-0 win over Albania and Turkey’s 2-0 victory over Czech Republic.

Also, the Egyptian FA paid Collum and the rest of his officiating crew £10,000 in just accommodations and travel fees according to the Daily Record. It seems very excessive to pay that much for a controversial referee in an almost meaningless match.

Willie Collum will be the third Scottish referee to officiate the derby.

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