Sunday,22 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1289, (31 March - 6 April 2016)
Sunday,22 July, 2018
Issue 1289, (31 March - 6 April 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Final call

Two major court rulings have led to the disbanding of the boards of the Egyptian Football Association and Ahly Club, reports Inas Mazhar

Al-Ahram Weekly

The Supreme Administrative Court decisions are now final. There is no appeal. The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) and the storied football club Ahy have no boards after both were suspended this week by law. The two cases have been ruled on by the Administrative Court, the Court of Appeals, the Court of Cassation and finally the Supreme Court.

And since the verdicts are final, the EFA now has no board of directors at a time when Egypt is playing Nigeria in two crucial games that may determine who qualifies for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations. Ahly are also rudderless in their quest to recapture the league and cup titles they lost last year. They also recently reached the round of 16 in the African Champions League.

The EFA board was dissolved because of irregularities in the procedures during the elections process, as is the case with Ahly.

The EFA board of directors, elected in 2012, is being dissolved only six months before elections in the country’s sports federations scheduled to take place in October.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, responsible in its capacity as the governmental administrative body for executing the court order, decided not to appoint a new board, at least for now. Instead, the EFA will be run by its current executive director Sarwat Sewelem until elections in October.

But the case is different with Ahly whose board was elected in 2014. After the first court order, Minister of Youth and Sports Khaled Abdel-Aziz appointed the same board which was elected by the general assembly until a final court ruling. Abdel-Aziz took the decision in deference to the general assembly which had elected them and entrusted them with the management of the club. However, a month ago, five board members submitted their resignation to the minister, refusing the appointment.

Meanwhile, the minister has two options: either appoint five more members to replace those who resigned to complete the Ahly board or allow the current six-member board to run the club until the end of the year until new elections are held. According to the law, the board is valid with only six members.

The two court rulings are not the first or the last for Egyptian sports organisations. In the absence of a sports law, sports bodies remain threatened and as a consequence, the performance of Egyptian teams and athletes will definitely be affected. Half of Egypt sports federations and clubs are either dissolved or their cases are in court, which only shows the urgency of passing an effective regulative new sports law, a real challenge this year for the Egyptian Ministry of Youth and Sports.

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