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Saturday, 04 July 2020

Ahly fans protest appointment of Peseiro as head coach

The protesters demanded that the team's management board retract its decision or announce its resignation

Mahmoud Elassal , Saturday 10 Oct 2015
Angry Ahly fans protest ahead of the club's headquarter (Photo: Ahram Sport)
Views: 1775
Views: 1775

One day after announcing Portuguese Jose Vitor dos Santos Peseiro as Ahly's new head coach, hundreds of the Cairo giants' fans gathered before the club's headquarter in protest.

The protesters demanded that the team's management board, headed by Mahmoud Taher, retract its decision or announce its resignation, with demonstrators chanting "leave, Taher".

Following a trophy-less season, Ahly appointed former Real Madrid assistant manager Peseiro, 55, as the new boss to take charge of the team immediately after the Egypt Super Cup, where caretaker coach Abdel-Aziz "Zizo" Abdel-Shafi will lead the Reds against arch-rivals Zamalek.

Some Ahly fans have expressed their disapproval of appointing the new coach due to his perceived soft-handed approach as well as his lack of titles.

The need for a strong personality to control the star-studded Ahly squad and restore order to the team has been a matter of major debate between fans on social media.

Peseiro, who failed to take Saudi Arabia to the 2010 World Cup finals, was among several candidates to take the Ahly hot seat before the club confirmed that he will not be appointed manager following the dismissal of Fathi Mabrouk.

Peseiro's most notable achievement came in 2005 when he led Portuguese giants Sporting to the Europa League final before losing the title to CSKA Moscow.

Ahly fans have been posting videos online showing Peseiro's losses in an effort to derail his appointment, while also calling for the appointment of his countryman Manuel Jose.

Many fans also feel that the current board is not capable enough to retain the team's glory, as the team has seen several problems since the board's election, with the naming of three coaches in one season with no achievements.

Some Egyptian media outlets have claimed that the club's marketing official, Haitham Orabi, who helped the team rebuild their squad this summer, resigned from his post after Peseiro's appointment.

There have also been reports that club Football Committee member and team icon Walid Salah El-Din resigned from his post in protest of the decision not to hire Jose.

The 69-year-old Portuguese tactician was excluded from the coaching shortlist despite calls from fans that he be rehired.

Jose has led Ahly to winning a series of trophies during three spells: six CAF Champions League titles, four CAF Super Cups, six Egyptian Premier League titles, two Egyptian Cups and four Super Cups.

Ahly squandered all chances to save their faltering season after losing the domestic league and cup titles to Zamalek, as well as leaving the CAF Confederation Cup's semifinals.

The Red Devils have appointed caretaker coach Abdel-Shafi to replace Mabrouk in leading the team during the Egypt Super Cup game against Zamalek next week.

Mabrouk succeeded Spanish coach Juan Carlos Garrido in May but was sacked after failing to bring Ahly any major trophy.

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