Egyptian powerhouse, Al Ahly, have demanded that foreign referees be appointed in their games after the end of the league due to unfair treatment by local referees.
The Reds were held to a null draw by El-Gaish, which put their league title hopes in jeopardy and neared Zamalek to their 13th league title.
Moments before the half-time whistle, Al Ahly nearly opened the scoring but former Zamalek defender Eslam Gamal managed to clear the ball off the line.
However, there is a lot of debate whether or not the ball crossed the line as the referee didn’t check the Video Assistant Referee (VAR). While this wasn’t the first refereeing mistake to affect Al Ahly’s results this season, it proved to be the last straw as the club claim to have lost 15 points because of poor refereeing.
As a result, they have demanded that foreign referees be appointed for their remaining Egypt Cup games and the Egyptian Super Cup, at their own expense, in an official statement:
“Al Ahly Sporting Club always look after the general interest and are always keen to cooperate with all the nation’s sports institutions, including the EFA and the referee’s committee of the EFA. Moreover, such cooperation continues to happen despite being subjected to clear and repeatable mistakes throughout this season’s league campaign. However, the club feels the need to explain the following points after Tuesday’s encounter against Tala’ea El Gaish, which proved that such mistakes were not unintentional:
“1. Despite who wins the Egyptian Premier League title, yet the club fully appreciates the efforts of Al Ahly’s football first-team players, coaching, administrative, and medical staffs throughout the previous two seasons. Al Ahly’s football first team won the league title for five consecutive times, the Egyptian Cup, the CAF Champions League title in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, the 2019-2020 CAF Super Cup, and the bronze medal of the 2020 FIFA Club World Cup. Furthermore, the team will participate in the upcoming CAF Super Cup, which will be held in Qatar in September, and the upcoming Club World Cup, which is scheduled to be played in Japan in December.
“2. The club does not have a clear explanation for the repeatable mistakes which occurred, specifically, in our games. Such mistakes played an important role in Al Ahly losing 15 points in our title race.
“3- We have contacted the EFA several times regarding the unacceptable mistakes from the referees, which happen in our matches in the domestic league and contradict the principle of fair treatment to all competing teams. As we were promised, the refereeing system should have been developed. However, there was no difference when we resumed the league matches after the conclusion of the CAF Champions League competition and we preferred to remain silent and not to affect our players with these actions. We were representing our nation in the continental competition and we expected to have the support of the football association. On the contrary, we were victims of an unprecedented busy schedule which affected the physical and mental status of our players.
“4- Finally, given the lack of justice in our league matches, we are waiting for the EFA’s response to our request, regarding assigning foreign referees for our matches in the Egyptian Cup and the Egyptian Super Cup. The club will cover the costs of bringing in foreign officials. We are also waiting for definitive solutions to the mistakes of the referees before the start of the new season to provide equal chances for all the competing teams,” read Al Ahly’s official statement.