Egypt football team in stadium crisis due to political turmoil

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Cairo’s al-Ahly football club is struggling to find a venue for its Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League match because of the political turmoil in Egypt, al-Ahram reported Friday.

The seven-time Champions League winners, named “African Club of the Century” by the CAF in 2000, is scheduled to play South Africa’s Orlando Pirates in the second match of the group stage on Aug. 4.


Ahly chose the army-owned Air Defence stadium for the game, but have been denied security clearance because of the political upheaval, Ahram reported.

The team may ask the CAF to postpone the match because of security concerns, but there has been no official decision, Ahram reported.

Egypt has witnessed street clashes between opponents and supporters of deposed President Mohamed Mursi.

“With the political issues, obviously we have concerns,” Orlando Pirates coach Roger de Sa told South African sports news website Sportlive.

“What we see on television is a worrying factor, but I’m sure the CAF will make the right decision,” he added.

A previous game between Ahly and rival Egyptian team Zamalek in the opening round of the group stage was moved to Gouna Stadium, a Red Sea resort, and delayed twice because of security concerns, Ahram reported.

Authorities feared that the match would become a flashpoint for violence and banned spectators, but fans from both sides defied the ban and were allowed in, Sportlive reported.

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