Tuesday 4 May 2021
After the Football Association published on April 29 the schedule of matches for the remaining weeks of the Premier League, Aswan club and Al-Ahly club officials were surprised that the match between the two teams had been postponed to mid-August, despite it being a match from the 17th week of the first round.
Al-Ahly officials attacked the tripartite committee that runs the Football Association with great ferocity due to the postponement of the Aswan match to mid-August, at a time when their team was exhausted with consecutive strong matches before their participation in the quarter-finals of the African Champions League, according to statements by Sayed Abdel Hafeez, the football director of the team.
Despite the numerous demands and questions directed to the tripartite committee, especially its chairman, Ahmed Mujahid, regarding this matter, the latter and his committee remained silent without any answers or satisfactory responses.
Attempting to answer the question of why the Aswan-Al-Ahly meeting was postponed while the rest of the matches were set, forces us to go back a little bit in order to clarify some information.
Since FIFA sacked the previous committee headed by Amr Al-Ganaini last December and the appointment of a new tripartite committee headed by Ahmed Mujahid, the latter has always been talking about the difficulty of completing the Premier League championship for this season due to the pressure of matches, whether for clubs or teams at the continental, international and Olympic levels. .
And this matter made him constantly hinting at the possibility of canceling the league championship at any time due to the difficulty of setting an appropriate schedule during the current year that would not conflict with the tournaments of the next season 2021-2022.
Mujahid’s statements were always faced with criticism from some clubs or some analysts due to concerns that the football industry would be affected by the material and financial loss that would harm it as a result of this cancellation if it happened.
These statements compel Mujahid to amend his speech and emphasize that his committee submits all possible endeavors and efforts in order to continue the league in line with the Egyptian state policy to continue all vital activities since life returned to normal in Egypt during last July after months of suffering with the first wave of the Corona pandemic, which began During March 2020.
On April 27, an official source at the Football Association stated to Lilacora that the Premier League competition for the next season is facing the catastrophe of cancellation due to the many continental and international links to clubs and teams, especially after the first team’s participation in the Arab Cup was confirmed at the end of next December. (Check here).
Bearing in mind the above, the decisions of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on May 3 regarding arrangements for its continental tournaments for the 2021-2022 season hit the Egyptian football season with deaths after CAF set next June 30 as the date for the local federations in Africa to send the names of their representatives. Of the teams in the two championships next year, with a maximum date set for next July 30 to present the final lists for the teams. (See full details).
These decisions confirm, beyond any doubt, that the rates of canceling the Premier League at the current time have reached its highest rate than ever before, especially since the Football Association Committee will not be able, by June 30, to determine the four teams that will represent Egypt in the two championships next year, since The league championship will be at the height of its competition.
In addition, the idea of clubs presenting their squads for the new season, by a maximum of July 30, is a fantasy, especially since it is difficult, if not impossible, actually for a club to be able to define its new deals or specify the names of its players who will dispense with them as long as the local registration period will not open. Unless the season ends on September 30th.
All of these factors and strings above indicate a clear possibility to cancel the league championship, but if this is done, what are the consequences of this decision, especially in determining the champions of the league or determining the names of the teams that will represent Egypt in the African championships or the relegation struggle at the back of the table ?!
The principle of sports merit, which was adopted by the previous committee headed by Amr Al-Ganaini, is the answer to all these questions, as it is the principle that was introduced in the laws of the league competition and provides for the method of settling the league’s teams ranking if it is canceled for any compelling circumstances. (See full details here).
Earlier, an official in the Football Association confirmed in exclusive statements to Lilacora the continuity of the principle of sporting merit within the standards and laws of the Premier League championship for this season. (See full details here).
Looking at the method of formulating the principle of mathematical merit in the list of competitions, we will find that it says:
“After the end of the competition half, that is after the staging of 153 matches or more, the last standings of the teams are approved at the time of the cancellation of the competition. The champion, the golden square teams and the relegation teams are calculated according to the ranking table at the time of the cancellation of the competition, taking into account that in the event that the teams are not equal in the number of matches, the principle of merit is applied The sports before the final ranking is approved, by means of the following equation (the number of points won by each team divided by the number of matches played by each team), and in the event that the teams are equal in points after applying the equation of sports merit, the fourth item in these conditions shall be applied.
Here a clear problem becomes apparent. Does the phrase “half of the competition have passed” mean that the first round should be played in its entirety, or is it sufficient to play 153 matches without considering their arrangement?
If the answer to the previous question is “yes”, then it will become quite clear why the Football Association intended to postpone the Aswan and Al-Ahly match from the first round, so the justification would be for not activating the principle of sporting merit if the federation was forced to cancel the league in order not to be a party to the “problem of the century.” The future, which will hit the top of the league between Al-Ahly and Zamalek, as the competitors so far for the championship.
The term “problematic of the century” will not stop at the borders of the top of the league only, but will also include the problem of the third and fourth places, which will represent Egypt in the Confederation Championship, and it will also include a struggle at the back of the ranking table between clubs threatened with relegation, especially the Ismaili club, which became in great trouble after the decision of the Appeal Committee to discount 3 points from his score due to the transfer problem of Ibrahim Hassan, the former star player.
Consequently, this will be the only way out for the federation in order to cancel the results of the entire season as if it had never been, and to rely on the results of the previous season as stipulated in the regulations, while keeping the clubs as they are in the league without relegation and escalation of 6 clubs from the second division league to become the number of clubs in the season’s league The next 24 clubs, and Al-Ittihad will implement its plan to save the next season by setting it up in the two-group system in order to reduce the number of matches, and thus it can easily end it before December 2022, which is the date set for the World Cup in Qatar.