Egyptian Premier League is canceled

    Players run for safety as fans riot during the Egyptian Premier League match between al-Ahly and al-Masry.

    Story highlights

    • This season's Egyptian Premier League has been officially canceled by the Egypt FA
    • The league was suspended following the death of over 70 fans in crowd rioting last month
    • The Egyptian FA announce a replacement tournament held from March 29th to May 18th
    The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) have confirmed that the 2011-2012 Egyptian Premier League season has been called off.
    The league was suspended early last month, after the deaths of over 70 fans in riots that occurred during the match between al-Ahly and al-Masry in Port Said.
    And the EFA have now confirmed the league will be replaced by a separate tournament that will be held from March 29th to May 18th.
    Spokesman Azmy Megahed told the Confederation of African Football (CAF) website that there was not enough time to play all the remaining fixtures, before the national team started training for the London Olympic Games and the 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
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    The new competition will be called the "Martyrs Cup", which will feature 18 teams with matches being played behind closed doors with no spectators present.
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    However, al-Masry, whose supporters have been blamed for the riots last month, have not been invited to play in the tournament, the draw for which will take place on March 21.
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    The format of the competition will see teams divided into two groups of nine, with every team playing the other in their section.
    The top two teams of each group will then qualify for the semifinals, the winners of which will play in the cup final.