Cairo: Egypt’s popular club Zamalek has said it will sue the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for insisting on holding a major tieoff in Qatar which is locked in a bitter diplomatic row with Cairo.
CAF has announced that the Super Cup clash pitting Zamalek against Esperance of Tunisia will be held in Doha on February 14 despite repeated protests from the Egyptian club.
“How can we play the game in a country that has sparked problems in all of the Arab world,” Zamalek’s chairman Mortada Mansour said in media remarks.
“I am ready to play the match at the Esperance’s stadium and in front of their fans, but I will not play in Qatar,” he added.
Mansour is a sharp critic of Qatar, which has been boycotted for more than two years by Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain over its support for terrorism.
Zamalek’s board plans to file a legal complaint against the CAF with the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) over the confederation’s insistence on picking Qatar for the tieoff, private Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm reported on Sunday.
Mansour said Zamalek will hire a foreign lawyer to file the suit soon at the CAS, providing evidence that Qatar is not a neutral country. He has repeatedly called for changing the venue of the game.
“Zamalek will not play in Qatar whatever the financial, technical and administrative penalties,” Mansour, a lawyer by profession, said, according to the paper.
Zamalek risk a fine of 100,000 dollars and exclusion from African club tournaments if they boycott the Qatar fixture.