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Egypt's Ahly demand fans attend African final despite security concerns
Mohamed Yussef sees the African final as a battle for saving the reputation of Egyptian football after the Pharaohs 6-1 defeat to Ghana in World Cup playoffs
Published in Ahram Online on 22 - 10 - 2013

Ahly manager Mohamed Yussef expects tough competition in the African Champions League final against South Africa's Orlando Pirates.
"Orlando is a powerful opponent, they have team work and speed skills. They delivered an outstanding performance, not only in the final stages," Yussif told the Cairo-based club's official website.
In the group stage, the Egyptians earned a goalless draw in Johannesburg, although the Pirates won 3-0 at Gouna stadium.
"We need to focus on the field in both matches home and away. I consider the final a 180-minute match," the Egyptian tactician added.
The title-holders, who are bidding for their eighth trophy, made it to the final, eliminating Cameroon's Coton Sport, while Orlando eased through after beating Esperance of Tunisia.
"We want to play the second-leg in Cairo in the same arena [Dar El-Dfeaa Stadium] the national team is supposed to play their second-leg in the World Cup playoffs [against Ghana who won 6-1 home]," Yussef added.
The first-leg is scheduled for 2 November at Orlando Stadium, one week before the decisive second-leg.
"We need fans to attend this very important match. Ahly is battling for the reputation of Egyptian football," he concluded.
No spectators have been allowed in Egyptian stadiums since February 2012, when 72 Ahly fans died in Port Said stadium following clashes between fans. Two successive Premier League games were cancelled midway due to security concerns, and continental competition games for clubs and national teams were held behind closed doors with minimal fan attendance.
The security situation is not any better now, with the Egyptian streets witnessing clashes between police and army forces with supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi on a weekly basis.
There is no certainty yet about fan attendance at the 19 November anticipated Egyptian national team game against the Black Stars, especially after the dream of returning to the World Cup after 24 years of absence is fading following a heavy defeat away.
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