Start of Egyptian league delayed again

Security chiefs delay beginning of Egyptian league, which has been out of action since Port Said riot killed 74 people.

    Start of Egyptian league delayed again
    Egyptian team Al Ahly took part in the Club World Cup but will have to wait to compete in domestic league [AFP]

    The launch of the league in Egypt this season has been postponed for a third time, this time until February 1, the Egyptian Football Association said on Sunday.

    The first round of matches will be played behind closed doors, a statement on the association's website said.

    It follows a weekend meeting between the EFA and two government ministers. 

    Previous attempts to kick off the league have been blocked by government concerns football crowds could be a conduit for continuing civil disorder in the crisis-torn country.

    "All those in attendance at Saturday's meeting revealed their hopes that the league will start as soon as possible, as this will be an indicator of a stable security situation," said the statement.

    "The EFA and the club's management should reach out to fans in order to avoid unrest inside and outside the stadiums," it said.

    The EFA had set three previous dates for the start of the league but been told to hold off by security chiefs.

    There has been no league football in Egypt since February when a stadium riot in Port Said at a match between Al Masry and visiting Al Ahli saw 74 people killed.

    The 2011/12 season was cancelled and attempts to get the new campaign underway in September was cancelled when protesting fans damaged the football association headquarters in Cairo.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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