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Africa Sports News of Saturday, 18 January 2020

Source: GHANAsoccernet.com

CAF gives Zamalek Super Cup squad deadline despite protest against Qatar


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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has given Zamalek a deadline of the 30 January to submit its squad for next month's Super Cup despite the Egyptian giants' reluctance to play in Qatar.

The Cairo-based club has been asked by CAF to submit the list of the 18 players scheduled to face Tunisia's Esperance, 15 days before the date set for the match.

Winners of CAF Confederation Cup must play Esperance of Tunisia who won the CAF Champions League in Doha on 14 February to decide Super Cup winner.

This means Zamalek has to submit the list of players by 30 January which would indicate whether they will play the match or not after tempestuous Mortada Mansour, chairman of Zamalek, threatened not to play in the Asian country.

Mansour said the political stand-off between Egypt and Qatar is the cause but it is widely believed the controversial club president is angling for a fight with CAF.

A source at Zamalek said: "CAF sent an email to the Zamalek club asking the administration to send the list of the team participating in the match with a deadline."

Failure to submit the list could lead to sanctions on Zamalek who have publicly declared that they will not play in Doha because of the political feud between Egypt and Qatar.

"The Board of Directors sticks to its decision not to go to the meeting in Doha, Qatar, and the team will not play in a country that fights the people of Egypt," Zamalek said on its official website some weeks ago.

"The Board of Directors is afraid of the team's presence in Qatar as an attack on the team could lead to death or harm on players and team officials."

CAF President Ahamd Ahamd has already warned Zamalek against their non-participation, stressing that "the law will be applied to the team that will not participate."

Last November, CAF announced the deadline for the Super Cup match between the champions of the Champions League and the Confederation Cup, scheduled for Qatar.

And CAF published on its official account on Twitter that the African Super Cup match, between Egyptian Zamalek and Tunisia's Esperance, will take place next February 14 in the Qatari capital, Doha.

The Super Cup was scheduled to take place in October 2019, but the Champions League final crisis between Esperance and Moroccan Wadad, caused the final match to be postponed.

Zamalek booked their place in the African Super Cup after claiming the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Cup title last season and they are scheduled to face the winner of the CAF Champions League title Esperance of Tunisia.

Egypt and several Arab countries severed diplomatic ties with Qatar in June 2017 citing its support of Islamist groups and attempts at destabilizing the region.

Despite this some countries have played in Qatar while the Qatari national team has travelled to other countries in the feud to play competitive matches.

The CAF signed a deal with Qatar to host the CAF Super Cup for three seasons.

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