Thursday Jun 18, 2020. 14:00
Zamalek president Mortada Mansour has said he is more than willing to cede the Egyptian Premier League title to leaders and arch rivals Ahly if it means ending the competition early.
On Monday, the Egyptian government granted clubs the green light to resume training on 20 June, paving the way for the league to resume on 25 July after a four-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Yet this announcement has clubs divided, with the White Knights very much on the side of ending the season off the field and rather focusing on starting a new campaign when it is considered safe to do so.
“Is it possible to resume the league competition with the approval of only five out of 18 clubs?” Mansour told Zamalek’s TV channel on Wednesday, as quoted by Ahram Online.
“We don’t mind declaring Ahly the league champions for the sake of everyone. If a player from Ahly picked up coronavirus, I won’t let it pass easily.
“Sure we support the country’s decision regarding football activity, but we are talking about a new season, not completing this one,” he added.
Champions Ahly have revealed that they welcome the league’s resumption and that the team will follow all the precautionary measures set out by the government. Yet there are several clubs following Zamalek’s lead, including Aswan and Wadi Degla.
“Zamalek assistant coach Samy El-Shesheny resigned from his post after informing us that he does not want to risk his life, and we can’t blame him. There are other coaches who will follow suit. If a player refuses to play, what can we do?” the Zamalek president explained.
“There are continental commitments for Ahly and Zamalek in September, and so the league will stop again. The league will end in November as there are 17 remaining rounds in this season, aside from the national team commitments. Shall we start the new season in December? And what about registration of new players?
“What is the problem if the football association declares Ahly the league champions, as they are already the holders, besides cancelling relegation in all divisions? Training should start on 25 July and then the new season on 25 August,” he concluded.