In a sudden outburst in the late hours of Friday, Zamalek’s sacked coach Mido said club chairman Mortada Mansour relied on imposters pretending to be sorcerers to improve results last season.
Mido was shown the door following Tuesday’s 2-0 Cairo derby loss to Ahly which left Zamalek seven points adrift of their bitter rivals at the top of the Egyptian Premier League table.
The outspoken Mansour is no stranger to controversy, having said more than once that Zamalek were suffering from “black magic” used by opponents. He insisted he was serious.
A member of Zamalek’s administrative sector was videoed throwing water on the floor in the tunnel of Alexandria’s Borg El-Arab Stadium less than an hour before the derby, prompting ridicule on social media. It was not clear why he did so but Mansour said the man was fired.
“I’m sorry to say that about the club where I was raised, but Mortada Mansour hired sheikhs pretending to be sorcerers during the whole of last season. The sheikh earned EGP 7,000 per match,” Mido said in a phone interview with Al-Hayat TV.
“Mansour even asked me this season not to play [striker] Bassem Morsi, [winger] Mahmoud Kahraba and [defender] Ahmed Dweidar because he said they were bewitched.”
Zamalek, boosted by the arrival of some marquee signings, claimed the domestic double last season but their performances have been stuttering this term.
They drew once and lost twice in seven matches under Mido, who was the team’s third coach of the season after Portuguese Jesualdo Ferreira and Brazilian Marcos Paqueta.
Former Zamalek player Mohamed Salah took charge of Zamalek on an interim basis and will lead them when they face Wadi Degla on Sunday.
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