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Top Egyptian club boycotts Qatar handball event

Al Ahly decision is linked to Cairo’s severance of ties with Doha over terror support

Cairo: Egypt’s most prominent Al Ahly club has said it will not participate in a major handball competition due later this year in Qatar in compliance with Cairo’s boycott of the countyr.

The Cairo-based club said late Wednesday in a statement on its official site that its board decided not to participate in the IHF Super Globe due in Qatar in October “in commitment to the general policy of the country”.

The Egyptian Handball Association had earlier nominated Al Ahly, one of the most popular clubs in the Arab region and Africa, to compete in the championship.

The club said it rejected the nomination and will send a “written apology” to the association notifying it of its non-participation decision.

Egypt’s Zamalek, the winners of the African Handball Champions League, have already said they will not participate in the Qatar tournament.

Tunisia’s Esperance, who played against Zamalek in the African Champions League final last October, are expected to be invited to the IHF Super Globe to replace the two Egyptian teams.

In June last year, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt broke diplomatic, transportation and trade links with Qatar over its support for extremist groups, an accusation that Doha has denied.

The anti-Qatar bloc has also designated as terrorists several militants and groups associated with Doha. Efforts by several countries, including Kuwait, to defuse the crisis have gone nowhere.

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