74 fans were killed and hundreds injured when rival fans clashed after a football match in Port Said between home team Al-Masry and Cairo’s Al-Ahly on Feb 1 (Getty)

(WFI) The Egyptian Football Association has cancelled the rest of the 2011/12 Premier League season in the wake of the Port Said rioting that claimed the lives of 74 fans.

The league was indefinitely suspended last month after the country’s worst football violence in more than a decade following a clash between Al-Masry and Al-Ahly.

Egyptian FA officials agreed to scrap the season, saying there was not enough time to complete the season schedule before training begins for the 2013 African Cup qualifiers and the London Olympics football tournament, which kicks off in July.

In place of the league season, a tournament is scheduled to be held from March 29 to May 18.

The competition called “Martyrs Cup” will feature 18 teams in games played behind closed doors. Al Masry club from Port Said are banned from participating.

Anwar Saleh, interim president of the Egyptian FA, told the Confederation of African Football website, that the proposed football tournament had yet to be finalised by the clubs involved.

“We had a meeting that included Premier League clubs with the EFA interim board and the clubs assured us that they cannot resume the League activities at this point in time,” he told CAFOnline.com.

“We also have a situation where the National and Olympic teams need to prepare and play in forthcoming competitions.

Asked it that meant a final decision had not yet been taken on staging the tournament, Saleh said: “Yes. The board still needs to discuss some outstanding matters  regarding organization, marketing and sponsorship. There are some loose ends to tie with our sponsors first.”

FIFA Pleased with CAS Decisions

FIFA says the rejection of appeals against Nigeria’s former FIFA Ex-Co
member Amos Adamu and two former senior football officials has
underlined its zero tolerance approach to corruption.

FIFA issued a release on Monday saying it was “satisfied” by the
Court of Arbitration for Sport decisions in turning down the appeals
made by Adamu, Amadou Diakité and Ahongalu Fusimalohi.

“The confirmation of these FIFA decisions by CAS underlines once more FIFA’s zero tolerance and clear stance against any breach of the FIFA Code of Ethics,” the statement said.

Adamu was the most high-profile of the recent cases that went to
CAS, last month losing his appeal to sport’s highest court to overturn
his three-year ban from football for seeking bribes during the 2018/2022
World Cup bidding campaign.

Diakité of Mali was originally banned for two years for corruption
during the World Cup bidding races. Fusimalohi of Tonga was also handed a
two-year ban for advising undercover reporters how to bribe Fifa Ex-Co

Meanwhile, former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam is preparing
to challenge his FIFA lifetime ban at a CAS hearing on April 18 and 19.

The Qatari was embroiled in the cash-for-votes scandal that brought down former CONCACAF president Jack Warner. Bin Hammam was found guilty of attempting to bribe Caribbean Football Union members ahead of the FIFA presidential election. Warner quit last summer before the FIFA Ethics Committee could punish him for his involvement in the scandal.

Azerbaijan FA Chief Re-elected

Rovnag Abdullayev has been re-elected as president of the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan.

The 46-year-old will serve a second term in office following his unanimous re-election at the association’s ordinary conference in Baku. It means he will continue in the role until 2016.

“Our main goals are improvement of the infrastructure, grassroots and education,” he was quoted on UEFA.com.

One of his biggest challenges ahead is the organisation of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Baku this summer.

By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson

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