Egypt's battles let Pirates off the hook
With the giants of African football sidelined, the Pirates coach, Roger de Sa has a chance to redeem himself. When the draw for the last eight streams of the African Champions League was made in May, Orlando Pirates and AC Leopards must have buried their heads in their hands at the thought of playing the Cairo giants, Al Ahly and Zamalek, let alone having to travel to Egypt twice. Now events that have nothing to do with football place the two clubs, which meet at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday night, in their best position to make the semis.
The situation is so dire that the interior ministry has refused to provide security for the Confederation of African Football Champions League match between the two Egyptian rivals. The match was scheduled to be played the day after the Pirates-Leopards encounter.
Pirates were expected to play Al Ahly in the first weekend of next month and return to Cairo two weeks later to play Zamalek. The EFA is reportedly discussing, with the Confederation of African Football and the two teams, the possibility of holding the match and those between the South African and Congolese visitors outside the country, if the fixtures are honoured at all.
It has been a year and half to forget for Egyptian football. Until the military suspended sporting activities, professional matches were being played behind closed doors to avoid spectators using football matches to vent their political frustrations.
In February last year, 79 fans, mostly Al Ahly supporters, died when violence broke out after a match between Al Ahly and Al-Masry supporters in Port Said.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at The Teacher/Daily Mail & Guardian