Saudi Arabia invites Egyptian national football team for umrah

The Egyptian national football team has been invited by Saudi Arabia to perform umrah. (AFP)
Updated 16 October 2017

Saudi Arabia invites Egyptian national football team for umrah

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has invited Egypt’s national football team to the Kingdom to perform umrah in recognition of their qualification to the World Cup, Asharq Al-Awsat Newspaper reported.
Turki Al-Asheikh, Chairman of the General Authority for Sport and Chairman of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee, invited the team to perform the religious rite after their automatic qualification to the final next summer in Russia.
The Pharaohs, who are 30th in the FIFA rankings, topped CAF Group E by winning all but one of their 5 matches.
There are negotiations for a friendly match between Egypt and Saudi Arabia some time before the start of the World Cup, sources told the paper.
Last month, Saudi Arabia qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 2006 when the Falcons beat Japan in a do or die encounter in Jeddah.
In celebration for their team’s qualification to the competition, the Egyptian Football Association announced the lifting of “all previous sanctions on all players, administrators and technical teams of the Egyptian league, including futsal games and the republic’s tournaments for all age groups, starting October 15th.”
The association highlighted that previously sanctioned cases of fraud are exempt from the decision.


Coronavirus forces fan ban at Italian football games

Updated 25 February 2020

Coronavirus forces fan ban at Italian football games

  • The Europa League game between Inter Milan and Ludogorets on Thursday will be affected
  • Italy reported its fifth death from the virus on Monday and it has the most confirmed cases in Europe

ROME: Upcoming matches in Italian Serie A and the Europa League will be played behind closed doors to combat the spread of coronavirus, the Italian sports minister announced on Monday evening.
“Following the demands of the sports world and knowing that the ban on sporting events open to the public remains in force in six regions of northern Italy, we have agreed to the holding of matches behind closed doors,” said Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora after a meeting of the Council of Ministers.
The Europa League game between Inter Milan and Ludogorets on Thursday will be affected, but the minister did not specify which Serie A matches at the weekend would be included in the ban.
There are six games in the regions he mentioned, including the clash on Sunday evening between leader Juventus and third-place Inter.
Italy reported its fifth death from the virus on Monday and it has the most confirmed cases in Europe.
Napoli’s Champions League match against Barcelona on Tuesday is not at risk.
The alternative to banning fans is to postpone games and Gabriele Gravina, the president of the Italian Football League made clear earlier in the day that he was opposed to thats.
“We have made an official request to Health Minister Roberto Speranza to have this game played behind closed doors,” Gravina told the press. “We expect a quick response, but we have been told that the outcome will be positive.”