Saturday Dec 21, 2019. 14:00
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) have confirmed that their Super Cup will be staged in Doha, Qatar on February 14, 2020, putting them on a collision course with flamboyant Zamalek president Mortada Mansour.
The one-off match is set to see CAF Champions League winners Esperance of Tunisia take on Confederation Cup holders Zamalek from Egypt, but the latter have already stated that they will under no circumstances honour the fixture in Qatar.
“Zamalek’s board took the decision to not play the Super Cup in Qatar because it is hostile to Egypt,” Mansour told the club’s website last month.
“We discussed our opinions together on the board meeting, some took the game from a sporting perspective and others objected playing looking from a political point of view and seeing that Qatar works on destructing Egypt.”
It followed even stronger language in October when it became clear the game would be staged in the Middle East nation.
“I don’t mind facing Esperance in Tunisia, but I won’t play in Qatar to win a piece of metal,” Mansour said.
“I already said that I won’t play in Qatar. Zamalek’s handball team didn’t participate in the Club World Cup because it took place in Qatar.
“If the CAF wants to create an issue I don’t mind. I won’t play in Qatar even if we get relegated to the third division.”
The ball is now in CAF’s court as to how they proceed, with Mansour unlikely to back down given he would not only be going against the wishes of his board, but also would lose face in public having so vehemently denounced the fixture.
It is the second year in a row that CAF have taken their Super Cup fixture outside of the continent.
Moroccan side Raja Casablanca beat Esperance 2-1 in Doha last year, a game that drew some 18,000 spectators.