New Ismaily coach Hossam Hassan blasted security at Cairo’s Arab Contractors Stadium following his team’s 3-1 defeat against the host team in the Egypt Cup quarterfinals on Monday.
“Clashing crowds adversely affected our players’ concentration,” the 45-year-old tactician told reporters after the match, which saw half-time clashes off the pitch between rival fans.
Security personnel intervened after the referee refused to begin the second half until order was restored.
“Fans were throwing stones at each other,” Egyptian referee Mahmoud Ashour told the media. “I was worried about the players’ safety.”
Hassan, previously a manager for Zamalek, also blamed the defeat on the team’s current financial problems, noting that the Ismailia-based club had seen three different boards of directors within the last six weeks.
“Players aren’t focused because they’re thinking about the club’s financial situation,” he said. He did, however, go on to concede: “Our preparation could have been better, but we weren’t helped by circumstances.”
In a breaking development, Ismaily trainer Abou Taleb El-Eissawi resigned from his post following his team's loss to Arab Contractors, due to what he described as "negligence" on the part of the team's technical staff.
Arab Contractors, for their part, managed to ease into the semi-finals against ENPPI, who had eliminated Egyptian Premier League champions Ahly 0-1 in the round of 16 before beating Ittihad El-Shorta on Monday.
This weekend, Haras El-Hodoud will clash with Cairo giants Zamalek, who are keen to get back on top under new coach Hassan Shehata.