After a meeting on Monday with the Premier League clubs’ chiefs, the Egyptian Football Association’s (EFA) interim board has announced the resumption of local activities.
“Football activity will be resumed behind closed-doors. The season will begin with the Super Cup on 26 August, then the Premier League will kick off on 7 September,” read a statement on the EFA official website.
The decision taken by the EFA interim chief Anwar Saleh and the top flight officials reverses the interior ministry’s decision not to resume football activity in Egypt for security reasons.
“The EFA and the clubs will hire special security firms to secure the league games inside the stadiums, in coordination with the police forces which will be in charge of securing the outside areas,” the statement added.
Egyptian football officials hope to give a lifeline to Egyptian clubs who have been in deep technical and financial crises since the suspension of all football activities after the Port Said disaster last February, when more than 70 were left dead and hundreds of injured in post-match violence.
The games will be played only in secured military stadiums and behind closed-doors, at least in the first half of the season, before gradually allowing supporters to watch games from the stands.
Saleh has also invited the second division clubs to a similar meeting to discuss the measures and conditions of their competition’s resumption.
Despite the EFA decision, the interior ministry will have to give the green light, and it is likely that they will not turn down this request, especially with President Mohamed Morsi pushing to bring all sectors back to normal.