Egyptian Premier League To Resume On March 30
Government officials in Egypt have revealed that the country’s Premier League will restart on March 30, following its suspension after February 8 when 22 Zamalek fans lost their lives before a league game against ENPPI SC.
The resumption of the Egyptian Premier League carries with it a proviso which will see games played behind closed doors, removing the supporter element from the stadium for these matches, at least at first, to ensure that the transition back to top flight football is without incident.
The government released a statement that confirmed the return of the league at the end of this month.
“The Egyptian cabinet has agreed today after a meeting to resume the Premier league without fans in attendance starting from 30 March,” the statement said.
“An agreement will be reached between the ministry of youth and sports, interior ministry, and the Egyptian Football Association on the regulatory and administrative procedures to resume the league to the benefit of Egyptian sports.”
The resumption without fans at matches is the correct way in which to move forward after a few unsavoury and fatal incidents which have marred the local game in the past few years. The national team has suffered as a result of the many suspensions of the league in recent years, with the Pharaohs failing to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournaments for the last three editions of the competition.
This is in part due to the fact that the majority of the national team is comprised of locally based players, who severely lack game time, relying on CAF competitions such as the Champions League and Confederation Cup to give them competitive action, and that only benefits a few of the top sides who are involved during matches that are spread throughout the calendar.
At the time of the Egyptian Premier League’s suspension, Zamalek topped the standings with 45 points, three ahead of ENPPI SC in second. The restart will see Zamalek face Dakhlyia on March 30, while Al Ahly come up against El Raja Marsa Matruh the next day.