EFA postpone all Egyptian Premier League games
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) released a statement in which they announced that all Egyptian Premier League games will be postponed until the U-23 AFCON comes to an end in November.
The EFA has had several scheduling issues over the past week, especially regarding the highly anticipated clash between Al Ahly and Zamalek in the Cairo Derby.
Both sides were supposed to face each other last Saturday October 19th. However just days before the encounter the EFA announced that the game had to be postponed, per the request of the country’s security officials.
The EFA then rescheduled Zamalek’s fifth-round game against Arab Contractors, bringing forward the match to be played on Saturday, in place of the postponed Cairo derby.
The decision angered Al Ahly officials as they refused to reschedule the game, threatening to not play any league matches before they host Zamalek first.
Following the Cairo Derby the Red Devils were set to visit El-Gouna in game-week five but refused to travel as a form of protest to the current situation.
Then the Egyptian Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhy met with Al Ahly president Mahmoud El-Khatib on Monday to try find a satisfying solution for all parties but reportedly reached no success with changing their decision to not play any game until facing Zamalek.
Now the EFA announced that all upcoming league games would be played until the U-23 AFCON ends on November 22 and that the Cairo Derby will be played on the final game-day of the first-leg.
“Based on the information we received from the Ministry of Youth and Sports and due to security reasons as well as the fact that Egypt is hosting the U-23 AFCON, we have decided to postpone all game-weeks five and six matches until the tournament ends,” the EFA released in their statement.
“Meanwhile the game between Al Ahly and Zamalek will be played on the final day of the first-leg for security reasons,” they added.
They also explained these scheduling decisions were out of their hands as they were given instructions by security officials.
“The Al Ahly and Zamalek game was postponed per the request of security officials, despite the normalization committee’s several attempts to not change the date.
“Moreover, the EFA’s competitions committee had announced that any games could be postponed for security reasons or due to schedule changes in international competitions,” they explained.
Zamalek president, Mortada Mansour, had already requested their game against their arch rivals to be moved in order for his players to rest between this game and their upcoming CAF Champions League clash against Senegal’s Generation Foot.
“Rescheduling Zamalek’s game against Arab Contractors to be played four days before it’s original date was to give equal opportunities to all teams by trying to reduce the amount of postponed games, compared to last year.
“The decision also came when Zamalek’s replayed game against Generation Foot was placed on the same day. Additionally, it was easy to find a new date for the Aswan-Arab Contractors from game-week four as both sides aren’t committed to any international competitions, something all three sides accepted,” they continued.
The EFA then concluded the by stating that they refuse any accusations of bias towards any clubs. And announced that as ‘home of Egyptian Football’, they are open to hearing any suggestions and complaints from anybody.
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