The return of the 2019/20 Egyptian Premier League could be over rather than expected as players of Zamalek Sporting Club have threatened not to resume training until a cure for COVID-19 is found.

The Egyptian Football Federation is set to make an announcement today to determine whether league should continue or be annulled, but report from the Giza based club [Zamalek] indicates that the players are reluctant to return to training following the revelation that team’s goalkeeper Mohamed Awad has tested positive for coronavirus.

Football activities in Egypt are due to return on 25 July after the government allowed teams to resume training this month.

But captain of the side Hazem Emam and his deputy – Shikabala, have issued a statement to announce they will not continue the league:

“We won’t go on the pitch before the coronavirus is gone and a cure is found,” Emam wrote on his Instagram account.

“No-one can force us to risk our lives, especially after our teammate Mohamed Awad tested positive.

“I want to inform you that as one of the team’s captains, my teammates and I won’t sacrifice our lives and the lives of our family members just to resume the league and please [rival club] Al Ahly and the people who support them.”

Emam further took to his IG to register his displeasure, saying that the players are even ready to meet with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi:

“The players are ready to do whatever it takes even if it means meeting with his excellency the president to explain to him that the Egyptian FA is sacrificing the lives of his people, just to please a certain club.”

It is reported that there are more than 22 cases in the league after tests were carried out on the players of various teams.