10k fans to attend Egypt-Congo DR friendly late May: official

CAIRO: Up to 10,000 fans will be allowed to attend the Egypt-Congo DR friendly match scheduled for May 30 at Borg al-Arab Stadium, Azmi Megahed, information director of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) told state news agency MENA Wednesday.

The decision follows an approval from Egypt’s Interior Ministry, said Megahed.

The match comes as part of the Pharaohs’ preparations for an encounter with Tanzania at the 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifiers, where Egypt only needs to avoid a 3-0 defeat with Tanzania to qualify.

The EFA and the Interior Ministry decided to hold football games behind closed doors shortly after the Air Defense stadium disaster in which over 20 fans were killed in a stampede after being tear gassed by police while entering the stadium in Feb., 2015.

In Nov., 2015, the EFA said in a statement that it is developing a new system for the return of spectators during Premier League matches.

“The federation, in coordination with ministers of youth and interior, is considering hiring a private security company to secure football matches at stadiums across Egypt,” the federation spokesperson Mahmoud al-Shami was quoted by Youm7.

Egypt’s 2012-2013 football season was cancelled due to the June 30 protests that toppled Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

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