Basketball training set to begin in Egypt

Omar Tarek Oraby
Egypt is one of Africa's basketball powerhouses

Basketball teams in Egypt will resume training this week as the country becomes the first in Africa to resume the sport.

From 1 July, outdoor training in small groups will begin, with a mid-August resumption of the league having been given the go-ahead from the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

“We’re looking to resume our season to give hope and sense to our people that life is back to normal," Egypt Basketball Federation Vice President Mohamed Abdelmotaleb told BBC Sport Africa.

"We don’t want our players to stay frustrated and fans disappointed. Our season was great and fun to watch and follow.

“This is a decision taken by the Egyptian government. Based on many calculations, Covid-19 will be declining in Egypt shortly and accordingly we are looking to resume all our life activities; tourism, working hours, entertainment, and definitely sports.”

Though 15 August has been pencilled in as their preliminary resumption date, Abdelmotaleb said that date could be pushed back if needed.

“We are looking to finish the Super League for men and women, relegations, and the Egypt Cup," he said.

"Our main target to begin the new season as usual - maybe little late but in place.”

To ensure the health and safety of all involved parties, players and technical bench are likely to be tested for Covid 19.

Fans will, however, not be allowed inside the stadiums.

The Egypt Cup quarter finals will see Smouha take on El Gaish, Tanta will be up against Sporting Alexandria. Al Ahly will face El Shams while Misr Insurance will take on Ittihad Alexandria.

In the Super League Ittihad Alexandria have already qualified for the playoff finals and will meet the winner between Al Ahly and Gezira.

The resumption of basketball will end a three-month break to all basketball action in Egypt which was suspended on 15 March due to the coronavirus pandemic. So far the pandemic has claimed 2,789 lives in Egypt.

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