Fire forces abandonment of Smouha v Pyramids match

Fire forces abandonment of Smouha v Pyramids match
El Hany Soliman of Smouha ©Weam Mostafa/BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Saturday Jun 29, 2024. 16:00

The Egyptian Premier League match between Smouha and Pyramids on Friday night was abandoned after a fire broke out at the Alexandria Stadium.

A blaze in one of the control rooms at the venue caused a failure in the floodlights, forcing the referee to call off the fixture.

At the time of the abandonment, the match was locked at 1-1, with Smouha opening the score from the penalty spot before Pyramids equalised in the dying minutes of the first half.

Smouha were forced to face the league leaders with 10 men after their experienced goalkeeper, El Hany Soliman, was sent off before half time.

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) has stated that the match will be replayed – rather than picking up where it left off – due to force majeure.

Therefore, Smouha will have the chance to start the ‘new’ match with 11 men, though Soliman will be suspended for the red card he received in the abandoned fixture.

Hany Said, the sporting director of Pyramids, was not happy with the EFA’s decision, stating that his team deserves the three points and the game should not be replayed.

He added that what happened should not be considered as force majeure, as it was quickly controlled by fire crews and Smouha, as hosts, should be held responsible.

Elsewhere in the league, Al Ahly maintained their winning run after securing a 2-1 triumph over Pharco at Cairo Stadium thanks to a brace from Hussein El Shahat – allowing them to close to within 14 points of Pyramids, with five games still in hand.

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