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Saturday, 16 December 2017

Preview: El-Khatib's election win extra motivation for formidable Ahly

Ahram Online , Friday 1 Dec 2017
Ahly
Ahly defeated Masry 2-0 in their previous Egyptian Premier League game (Photo: Ahram)
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With a legendary figure in Mahmoud El-Khatib elected Ahly's chairman, the team would be given an extra motivation to continue their impressive Egyptian Premier League run as they host Enppi at Cairo Stadium on Saturday.

El-Khatib, who is widely regarded as the best player in Ahly's history, beat incumbent chairman Mahmoud Taher with 20,956 votes to 13,182 in Thursday's elections to emerge the winner in what was expected to be a more closely-fought contest.

Nicknamed Bibo, El-Khatib is the only Egyptian to be named Africa's best footballer, having scooped the France Football award in 1983.

His arrival could spur Ahly to secure a seventh straight win when they meet Enppi as they steadily climb up the table in their quest to win the league title for the third season in a row.

"I thank Ahly's general assembly members for their support during the election as well as the Ahly fans," El-Khatib told a television programme after the voting finished.

"The responsibility became big for the coming management. We are now responsible for serving the club.

"I hope the coming period will be good for the club. We will do our best to achieve the club's targets."

Ahly have drawn once and won six out of their first seven matches as they look irresistible.

They beat two of their potential opponents, overcoming leaders Ismaily and second-placed Masry with the same 2-0 score.

Should the Red Devils win their rescheduled games, they will be five points ahead of Ismaily and nine clear of Masry at the top of the table.

Enppi have notably improved under new coach Ihab Galal, although they were held to two successive draws by Arab Contractors and Assiouty Sport in their previous two matches.

Ahly are still missing regular defenders Rami Rabia and Ali Maaloul through injury. Veteran striker Emad Meteb was also left out of Ahly's squad for the Enppi game.

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

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