Next week’s Cairo derby between Ahly and Zamalek in the domestic league will go ahead as scheduled, an Egyptian Football Association (EFA) member confirmed after widespread reports had suggested that the fixture would be postponed.
Ahly and Zamalek will meet in the Egyptian Super Cup, the annual one-off match, on Thursday in Abu Dhabi and are scheduled to meet four days later in the league in Cairo.
Reports said the league encounter would be delayed to give both sides adequate time to prepare for their crunch African Champions League clashes later this month.
Zamalek host Tunisia’s Esperance on 28 February, one day before Ahly meet South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals.
“The EFA did not even discuss the possibility of postponing the match,” Mohamed Fadl, a member of an interim committee that runs the EFA, told ONsport satellite channel.
“There is no reason to change the game’s date and we have already got the approval of security bodies to hold the match as scheduled.”
Fadl also said the game would be played behind closed doors, as has been the case in recent years, although there were some exceptions including last season’s Egyptian Super Cup game when up to 10,000 supporters were allowed to attend the match.
Ahly defeated Zamalek 3-2 in that game after surviving a late comeback to take their tally to 11 domestic Super Cup triumphs, nine ahead of their bitter Cairo nemesis.