Egypt Extends Cancellation of Soccer League Indefinitely

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) Friday extended the cancellation of protest-wracked country’s soccer league indefinitely, saying matches would resume with a "return of stability.''

The EFA initially suspended matches in the last ten days in a bid to prevent the soccer pitch to become a further rallying point for protesters demanding an end to the 30-year rule of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Supporters of rival Cairo soccer clubs Al Ahly and Al Zamalek have played a key role in the protests.

Anti-government protests sweeping the Middle East and North Africa for the past two month have made soccer league cancellations the region’s flavour of the day.
Libya and Algeria extended their league suspensions indefinitely with anti-government demonstrations planned for February 12 in Algiers and February 17 in Benghazi and Tripoli.

The Algerian Football Federation further announced this week the cancellation of its friendly against Tunisia scheduled for February 5. Weeks of mass demonstrations last month toppled Tunisian President Zine Abedine Ben Ali.

It remained unclear whether Libya will go ahead with plans for a friendly against Morocco scheduled for February 9 in Marrakech.

Morocco has so far been spared the mass protests that elsewhere in the region in demand of improved living standards and economic opportunity, a halt to commodity price hikes and corruption and greater political rights.

The cancellation of Libyan matches was prompted by demonstrations against corruption in public housing in provincial cities and government fears that US diplomatic cables disclosed by Wikileaks, detailing the corruption and decadent lifestyle of the family of Libyan leader Muammar Qadaffi could fuel further protests.

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