CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian soccer clubs will return to training on Saturday as the country moves toward resuming the league season in July following a long suspension caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Youth and Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhi said late Monday league matches will resume on July 25 “under strict precautionary measures.”
“We have seen several countries like Germany, England, Spain and Italy have resumed their competitions,” Sobhi said. “Egypt also can after taking all necessary measures.”
He said the Egyptian soccer association and the clubs are responsible for taking “all preventive and precautionary measures.”
Association president Amr El-Ganainy said medical guidelines have been prepared and will be handed over to clubs to follow before training and games.
“I hope everyone works in the best interest of soccer in Egypt,” he said.
Egypt suspended soccer and other sporting activities in mid-March, part of its measures to fight the virus.
Many soccer officials have repeatedly called for canceling the season, arguing that resuming soccer games could risk the health of the players.
Egypt has reported a surge in infections in the past week. On Monday, it reported 1,691 new cases of coronavirus and 97 deaths, the country’s highest toll for one day.
There have officially been 46,289 COVID-19 infections and 1,672 deaths recorded since the virus first emerged in Egypt in February.
Egypt has the highest death rate in the Arab world and the third highest in the Middle East after Iran and Turkey.
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