Reigning African champions Al Ahly have asked the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) to appoint European referees for the team’s remaining games in the domestic league, stressing they will bear the cost of hiring them.
“Ahly have sent an official request to the EFA to appoint European referees for the team’s remaining games in the Egyptian league,” read a statement on the club’s official website on Tuesday. “The club will bear the cost of the appointment of the referees.”
The Cairo giants succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to Ghazl El-Mahalla on Monday in a game that saw the whistle-man make a lot of controversial decisions.
According to the club, the referee denied them a clear penalty and held back when there was every reason to give a red card to Ghazl El-Mahalla defender Mohamed Fathallah.
Last month, EFA refused to appoint a foreign referee for the derby between Ahly and Zamalek and look likely to turn down the Red Devils’ request.
“If the EFA rejects our request, they should reveal the reasons of their refusal especially [considering] that the club will bear the cost of the appointment of the foreign referees.”
Ahly have dropped eight points in their last four games in the domestic league. They lie second in the league table with 37 points, four points behind leaders Zamalek but they have two games in hand.
The Red Devils will have a tough mission on Thursday when they face Ittihad of Alexandria, before hosting Zamalek in the Cairo derby, four days later.
By Mthokozisi Dube