The Tunisian Football Federation (FTF) signed on Sunday a cooperation agreement with its Egyptian counterpart in the field of football refereeing. It must be said that controversies are becoming more and more frequent in both championships, especially in the derbies involving teams like Al Ahly SC and Zamalek SC in Egypt, and ES Tunis and ESS Sousse in Tunisia.
This agreement was signed in Tunis by Wadi Jarii, the FTF’s President, and his Egyptian counterpart Hani Abou Rida after a meeting of the Nord African Football Union. Essam Abdel Fattah, a member of the Board of Directors of the Egyptian Cup, the chairman of the referee committee, held a press conference the next day to give some details about the protocol for cooperation with the referee committee of the Tunisian Football Federation:
- There will be an organized training for both Tunisian and Egyptian referees;
- Referees from Tunisia can now officiate some games in Egyptian championship and vice versa, without being considered as “foreign referees”;
- Annual meetings between the two football federations will enable referees from both countries to exchange their experiences and discuss the main issues they face in the national championship, but also in African, Arab and international competitions.
Increasing controversies in the Egyptian League
The signing of this partnership takes place in a context where referees are highly criticized in Egypt. Last September 11th, the Egyptian federation announced the ban of Ahmed Hamdy, a referee who took charge of the Egyptian League game between Al Ahly and Al Jaish, which ended in a 1-1 draw. Hamdy disallowed three penalties for Al Ahly and granted a controversial one to Al Jaish. “He is one of the best referees in Egypt, but he wasn’t lucky during the game”, Abdel Fattah told Egypt Today after the game.