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Thursday, 15 November 2018

Saudi's Sela termination of its Ahly sponsorship leaves future uncertain

Mahmoud Elassal , Thursday 5 Jul 2018
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After Saudi Arabia’s Sela Trading Company decision to terminate their sponsorship contract with Egypt’s football club Ahly leaves the future of who will promote the most succesful team in the country and Africa.

Last June, Ahly signed a record sponsorship deal of EGP 500 million ($28 million) with Sela after the Saudi firm outbid rivals Egypt's Al-Ahram Advertising Agency and Presentation Company to secure a four-year contract.

"Signing a EGP 1 billion [in sponsorship and broadcasting rights] deals were the biggest of its kind in Egyptian, Arabian and African football history," read a statement on Ahly's official website after signing the deal last month.

Some fans wonder if the decision was related to a recent public dispute between the club's president Mahmoud El-Khatib and Chairman and the club's former hnorary president Turki Al-Sheikh.

Al-Sheikh, the chairman of Saudi's Sports Authorit, was named as the Red Devils’ honorary president in December 2017, but stepped down from the position in June of this year, claiming displeasure over "a number of financial concerns."

Ahly management have reportedly received a letter from the legal counselor of the Saudi corporation informing the club of the termination of the sponsorship deal without disclosing the reason.

The future of the sponsorship deal for the Cairo giants remains unclear as Al-Ahram Advertising Agency and Presentation Company are still in hold to make an alternative bid.

(For more sports news and updates and a special World Cup 2018 coverage, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports)

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