Friday’s anticipated African Champions League final will be played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, African governing body CAF and the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) said in a joint statement on Wednesday.
Recent reports suggested that a limited number of supporters might be allowed to attend the game as bitter Cairo rivals Ahly and Zamalek clash in a high-stakes derby in the Egyptian capital.
“Following the current situation of COVID-19 pandemic, CAF and EFA confirmed in a joint statement that their utmost priority is the safety of Egyptian and African Football families. Therefore, it was decided to hold the game behind closed doors,” the statement read.
“The CAF Champions League final will be played at Cairo International Stadium founded in 1960, will be the first final in the competition history between the two Egyptian football rivals, adding more excitement to the final of CAF biggest interclub competition.
“CAF and EFA hope this game will be a message from Egypt and the African continent to the whole World, showing the capabilities of organizing major sports events, and reflecting the technical development of the African football.”
Ahly are seeking to win a record-extending ninth title while Zamalek are eyeing a sixth triumph and their first since 2002.