The top matches in Egyptian football between the two poles, Al-Ahly and Zamalek, always witness many crises reflecting their importance.
The most recent of these crises was that of the Zamalek Club, 24 hours before the confrontation with Al-Ahly, on Sunday evening, in the postponed match of the 20th round of the Egyptian League, because it requested that the meeting not be held in the Al-Salam Stadium and transferred to another stadium without the presence of the fans to get equal opportunity.
This surprising statement is reminiscent of the 10 most prominent Egyptian derby-related crises throughout history, which Al Ain Sports discusses in this report.
Penalty kick cancels the season
The Egyptian Football Federation canceled the 1971-1972 season after only 9 rounds had passed, due to a penalty kick awarded by the famous referee, Mohamed Diab Al-Attar, “Al-Diba”, against Al-Ahly goalkeeper Marwan Kanafani, during the top match against Zamalek.
Farouk Jaafar successfully scored the kick to give Zamalek the lead by two goals amid objections from the Palestinian goalkeeper, sparking a state of public anger, and dozens of people stormed the field.
The referee decided to cancel the match and the Football Association sentenced Marwan Kanafani with a 6-month suspension, as well as Al-Diba with a similar period of suspension, after which it was decided to stop the competition.
Club Al-Ahly was hit by a violent crisis in 1985, before their match against Zamalek in the quarter-finals of the Egypt Cup.
A special conflict broke out between Mahmoud El-Gohari, the then coach of Al-Ahly, and the president of the club, Saleh Selim, when the stars of the team completed their coaching, so the club president decided to stop the first team completely .
An exception to this decision was goalkeeper Ahmed Schubert, who participated in the club’s under-20 youth team.
Despite playing with the youth team, Al-Ahly took a historic victory over Zamalek with a score of 3-2 and qualified for the Egypt Cup semi-finals.
The two Egyptian football posts exchanged withdrawals from the top matches in the 1990s and early 2000s.
In the second round of the 1996 season, Zamalek’s team withdrew from the game after Al-Ahly scored a second goal, as referee Qadri Abdel Azim overlooked an offside against Hossam Hassan, before hitting the net of Nader El-Sayed shook.
After 3 seasons, Zamalek withdrew from the top of the second round of the 1998-99 season, just 5 minutes after the start of the match, in protest at the decision of French referee Marc Bata to early retire midfielder Ayman Abdel Aziz. to change gear.
On the other hand, Al-Ahly refused to take on his traditional rival in the inaugural edition of the Egyptian Super Cup in 2001, so that the match was played between Zamalek and Ghazl El-Mahalla, the runner-up in the cup. Arab Contractors, the sixth championship.
Al-Ahly also withdrew from the Arab Champions League in the 2003-2004 season after Saudi Al-Hilal’s first round match, and a few days before meeting Zamalek in the second round of the group stage, in protest against the Arab Union’s decision to refuse to include new players on the list.
Suddenly, the Zamalek government, led by Mamdouh Abbas, decided to increase the prices of tickets for the first round of the summit between the two teams for the 2006-2007 season to unprecedented numbers, leading to a decline in the audience in the state.
The Zamalek club offered tickets worth £40 for the third class, £80 for the second class, £200 for the stands behind the two goals, £500 for the first class and £1000 for the cab.
Zamalek officials tried with these awards on the one hand to reduce the turnout of Al-Ahly fans, or to get the maximum financial benefit from ticket sales, and in the end, Al-Ahly won with a score of 1-2.
A crisis occurred again in the top game for two consecutive seasons in 2015 and 2016 regarding the location of the competition.
In the second round of the 2014-2015 season, the Al-Ahly government issued an official statement, confirming that it would hold the match at the Burj Al Arab stadium and avoid any attempt to transfer the match to the El Gouna Stadium.
The case came to Al-Ahly’s administration for threatening to withdraw from the competition, and Al-Ahly’s pressure resulted in holding the match at Burj Al-Arab, and the team won a double scored by Moamen Zakaria.
In the first round match of the following 2015-2016 season, Al-Ahly also maintained his right to hold the match at his specific stadium, “Borg El Arab”, in response to the statements of Mortada Mansour, chairman of Zamalek club, that he had been given security clearance to stay at one of the Air Defense or Petrosport stadiums.
bus and rain
In February 2020, Zamalek defeated Al-Ahly on penalties to win the Egyptian Super Cup, after which tense riots broke out at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in the UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi.
The Egyptian Football Association imposed heavy penalties on players Imam Ashour, Shikabala and Mahmoud Abdel Moneim Kahraba, until suspension before the end of the season or for several months.
The two teams would meet again four days later at the Cairo stadium in the league championship, but Zamalek withdrew from the meeting with a scenario prepared by the president, Mortada Mansour.
Murtada claimed that he refused to hold the game to avoid further riots between the players of the two teams, and then announced that the game would be played with a list of young players.
However, the Zamalek chairman confirmed that the arrival of the team bus to Cairo Stadium was disrupted by traffic congestion due to rain, so the Football Association decided Al-Ahly won by two goals without a response.