William Collum will referee the explosive Cairo derby after being jetted in by the Egyptian FA at a cost of £10,000. He will take charge of the powderkeg fixture between Al-Ahly and Zamalek, which is being played 125 miles away from the capital at the Borg El Arab Stadium near Alexandra in Egypt. And the SFA referee has been flown in for the occasion, along with assistant referee Frank Connor, at the request of the Egyptian FA. The Derby is so volatile that the Egyptians often import foreign refs so there can be no allegations of favouritism to any of the teams. Collum will be the third Scottish ref to take charge of this game. Former refs Hugh Dallas and Kenny Clark both officiated at the fixture this century and both reported it to be a stormy affair.
Collum and Connor arrived in Cairo to huge media interest, with the local Egyptian press gleefully pointing out Collum's previous errors, which led to him being rested from Scottish Premiership games last year. But he recovered to enjoy a flawless display at Euro 2016 where he took charge of France's 2-0 win over Albania and Turkey's 2-0 victory over Czech Republic. It will cost the local FA a five figure sum to fly the Scots over to Africa, with accommodation and expenses. Egyptian FA referees committee chief Essam Abdel Fattah personally chose Collum to officiate. But at least Collum can expect very little abuse from punters. Fans have been banned in the Egyptian League after a 2012 riot in Port Said that saw 70 supporters of Al-Ahly killed. Only a tiny restricted number are allowed - around 200 each from both clubs will be in attendance at the cavernous 85,000-capacity stadium. And the 38-year-old will be firmly in the spotlight for the 157th meeting between the teams.
Source: Daily Record