Three stars from Egyptian clubs Al Ahly and Zamalek have tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the final of the CAF Champions League in Cairo on Friday, according to Egyptian football officials.
The Ahly trio of Walid Soliman, Saleh Gomaa and Malian Aliou Dieng are midfielders, while Zamalek’s victims include defenders Mahmoud ‘El Wensh’ Hamdy and Abdallah Gomaa, and midfielder Youssef ‘Obama’ Ibrahim.
Due to COVID-19 fears, no spectators will be allowed to attend the highlights of the African club calendar at the 74,000-capacity Cairo International Stadium.
Ahly are looking for a ninth Champions League title to extend a record and Zamalek for a sixth in the first final with clubs from the same country.
The team that wins the deciding first game of a title in a single match since 1965 is insured at least $ 3.5 million (2.93 million euros), including a minimum of $ 1 million for competing in the World Cup of FIFA Clubs.
Ahly would enjoy another chance to impress on the world stage after losing nine of 12 matches in five previous appearances, including a 5-1 beating of Mexican team Monterrey.
Zamalek has never appeared in the Club World Cup, as its five successes in the Champions League came before it became a multi-continent tournament.