AFP – Title-holders Al-Ahly want to postpone a CAF Champions League game against South African visitors Orlando Pirates scheduled for 4 August for five days to avoid Ramadan fasting.
“We are waiting for a response from the organisers (CAF) over moving the game against the Pirates to 9 August,” Ahly football director Sayed Abdel Hafiz said on Sunday.
“Our players refused to break the fast when they played Zamalek in mid-afternoon last week and are still suffering,” said the official.
Although footballers are permitted to break the dawn-to-dusk fast during the Muslim holy period, most refuse; Al-Ahly defender Ahmed Fathy recently said they learn to adapt.
The Cairo club must also find a new venue for the Group A match day two fixture after the military owners of the Air Defence Stadium in the capital city refused to stage it.
Al-Ahly played neighbours Zamalek last week in Red Sea resort El-Gouna, 450 km north of Cairo, because authorities feared security problems were the game to be held in Cairo.
The El-Gouna match between the most successful African clubs passed without incident, although officials relented on a spectator ban and permitted about 6,000 to attend.
Authorities have suggested Aswan, a city 870 km south of Cairo, for the first visit of former African champions the Pirates.
“What we see on television is concerning, but I am sure CAF will make the right decision regarding the venue,” Pirates coach Roger de Sa told the South African media.
Zamalek and Al-Ahly drew 1-1 and Pirates were held 0-0 by Congo-Brazzaville visitors AC Leopards in the opening Group A matches.
Mini-league winners and runners-up advance to the semi-finals of a competition offering the winners $1.5m and a place in the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco.