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Thursday, 12 December 2019

Ahly won Cairo derby with aid of 'ghosts and jinns', says Zamalek president

Zamalek chairman accuses Ahly coach of deploying supernatural methods to win 2-0

Mahmoud Elassal , Friday 24 Jul 2015
Moemen Zakareya
Al-Ahly's Moemen Zakareya celebrates after scoring a goal against derby rivals Zamalek during their Egyptian Premier League soccer match at Borg El Arab "Army" Stadium, west of the Mediterranean city of Alexandria (Photo: Reuters)
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After his club lost 2-0 to Ahly in the Egyptian Premier League on Tuesday, Zamalek chairman Mortada Mansour has said that he believes the Red Devils' coach Fathi Mabrouk used “ghosts and jinns” to help his team win.

During the match, Ahly forward Moemen Zakareya haunted his former club Zamalek with a well-taken double which put Zamalek's Egyptian Premier League title celebrations on hold. The 2-0 victory helped Ahly extend their unbeaten run against their Cairo foes to 20 matches.

Zamalek lost the services of their talented playmaker Ayman Hefnه minutes before the game when he fell ill, affecting the coach’s preparations for the game.

Speaking to Ten television channel on Thursday, Mansour, a controversial public figure, attributed the bad luck to supernatural influences.

"What does it mean that Ayman Hefni suffers from diarrhoea minutes before the game and former Zamalek player Moemen Zakareya scores the game's two goals?" Mansour said.

"Last season Ahmed Tawfik scored an own goal and Mahmoud Fathallah failed to score a penalty shot, moreover one of Zamalek's players was close to divorcing his wife," he added.

"I tell Fathi Mabrouk and and Ahly fans to enjoy the victory with ghosts and jinns," the Zamalek chairman said.

"All that I’ve said is written in the holy Quran," he added.

Ahly have not been defeated by their cross-town rivals since slumping to a 2-0 league loss in 2007 after they had already won the title. Since then they have won 11 matches and drawn nine.

Zamalek needed at least a draw to win a league title that has eluded them since the last of their 11 triumphs in 2004 but looked a pale shadow of the powerful side that have tormented the majority of opponents this term.

"Football’s atmosphere has become poisoned. Stop this bad work,” Mansour concluded.

It's not the first time the Zamalek chairman has attributed the team’s losses to the supernatural.

Last year he said that former Wadi Degla keeper Essam El-Hadary was protected by "ghosts and jinns" after the former Egypt goalie pulled off a string of impressive saves in a 2-2 Egyptian Premier League draw.

"It's true that El-Hadary saved some shots, I should praise him for that. But some other efforts, which he did not save, strangely missed the target. But I know why: this is mainly because of the help he gets from ghosts and jinns," Mansour told CBC television last season.

"And this is not new. I know the sheikh who helped him with that during his days as Egypt's number-one keeper. And by the way, I'm not joking," he added.

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