Egypt’s Zamalek to continue training Thursday, but domestic league participation unclear

Zamalek’s football team will continue training on Thursday as the White Knights kick off their preparations for the African Champions League, but their participation in the Egyptian Premier League remains unclear.

The club’s decision came after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said the Champions League will resume in September, although it has yet to reveal the date and the venue which will host the last-four clashes.

Zamalek will face Moroccan side Raja Casablanca in the semi-final after defeating holders Esperance of Tunisia within the quarter-finals that will be held in February.

Fellow Egyptian side Ahly take on another Moroccan side in Wydad, with both semi-final games taking place over one leg rather than the usual home-and-away games.

“The football team will resume training on Thursday,” read a statement on Zamalek’s official website on Wednesday.

The Cairo giants have been out of action since March when the Egyptian government decided to halt all sports activities in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Zamalek said following a Wednesday board meeting that they will run and bear the costs of swab tests for all players, despite initially refusing to do so when the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) said PCR tests were mandatory before the domestic league restarts in late July

The club said they would withdraw from the premier domestic competition, citing safety concerns because of the pandemic. However, it is still unclear whether their eccentric chairman Mortada Mansour will stick to his decision.

Zamalek asked the EFA to call off the season and start a new competition later, but the governing body insisted that resuming the ongoing season was a “state decision.”

Meanwhile, Zamalek said they had renewed the contracts ot the team’s full-backs Abdallah Gomaa and Hazem Emam, without revealing any further details.

They also said the team will hold a two-week training camp in Borg Al-Arab in Alexandria.