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Zamalek's outspoken chairman criticises Saudi ambassador over football transfer

Hatem Maher , Friday 12 Jun 2015
Mortada Mansour
Zamalek's chairman Mortada Mansour (Photo: Ahram)
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Zamalek's controversial chairman Mortada Mansour poured scorn over what he called an "irresponsible action" from Saudi ambassador in Cairo Ahmed El-Qattan over the transfer of Ghanaian striker John Antwi from a Saudi club to Zamalek's rivals Ahly.

Saudi Arabia's El-Shabab announced on Wednesday that they had agreed to sell Antwi, an ex-Ismaily player, to Ahly for $1 million although the Cairo giants are yet to formally reveal terms of the deal.

Traditional foes Zamalek and Ahly have already begun their annual race to snap up the best players in the summer transfer window, with outspoken lawyer Mansour says he is determined to keep strengthening his side following an impressive season.

Mansour, who enjoys a warm relationship with many Saudi football officials, believes El-Qattan is making use of his position to favour Ahly in the transfer market.

"I'm surprised by El-Qattan's stance because he was not impartial. His irresponsible action threatens the good relationship between Zamalek and the Saudi clubs," Mansour, who is known for his fiery comments, said on the club's official website.

"The ambassador paved the way for the transfer to be done after acting as a go-between in the deal between Ahly and El-Shabab, although that has nothing to do with his diplomatic mission."

Zamalek insisted they never wanted to sign Antwi, a 22-year-old robust hitman who finished as the Egyptian league's top scorer with 11 goals last season while at Ismaily, another Ahly rivals. 

He also scored 12 goals with Ismaily in the first half of this season before leaving for El-Shabab in January but his Saudi tenure came to an abrupt end.

Zamalek look close to winning their first league title since 2004 as they lie on top of the table with 70 points, nine clear of defending champions Ahly who played an extra time.

Mansour's heavy spending last summer paid off as Zamalek have only slumped to a solitary defeat in 29 games so far, looking solid at the back and efficient upfront.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

 
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