Monday,16 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1183, (6 - 12 February 2014)
Monday,16 July, 2018
Issue 1183, (6 - 12 February 2014)

Ahram Weekly

A shift for the Super Cup

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has confirmed that the 2014 Orange CAF Super Cup will now take place on Thursday, 20 February at the Air Defence Stadium in Cairo

Al-Ahram Weekly

The one-off match that pits 2013 Orange CAF Champions League winners, Ahli of Egypt, against 2013 Orange CAF Confederation Cup winners, CS Sfaxien of Tunisia, was initially scheduled for Saturday, February 22nd, 2014 at the Cairo International Stadium. The decision taken by the CAF Executive Committee was informed by organisational consdirations.

The Ahli Club management had asked CAF to change both the date of the match and the venue, the Air Defence Stadium in the Fifth settlement, New Cairo. While CAF’s official website statement claims the decision was taken for organisational reasons, Ahli said they had requested the changes as the date of 22 February coincides with the day of a trial to be held for ousted president Mohamed Morsi. Security Forces take huge precautions on that day and would be too busy to properly handle the security of such an important and decisive game. Being a military stadium in an almost-remote area, the Air Defence Stadium seems the best venue to host the African Super Cup.

Officials have yet to consider the vital issue of the spectators. Egyptian matches have recently all been held behind closed doors despite efforts by the Egyptian Football Association and clubs to claim permission from the Ministry of Interior for fans to be allowed in. However, security officials have informed EFA officials that fans would not be allowed back in to the stadiums until after the end of the presidential elections, scheduled to take place in March. The CAF final matches, which features Ahli as the home team, have been an exception and the stadium was always a full house. Yet, it remains unclear whether another exception will be made this time under current extenuating security and political circumstances.

The game will be the second meeting between the two clubs after the 2009 edition, which Ahli won 2-1 in Cairo. Ahli remains the most successful club in the history of the CAF Super Cup with five titles (2002, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013), whilst Sfaxien were runners-up in 2008 and 2009.

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