Egypt's Zamalek football team will not be competing in the Egyptian Premier League after all its sports activities were suspended until the end of what chairman Mortada Mansour described as a "conspiracy" against the club.
"All the [club's] sports activities, including participation in the football league, have been suspended until the end of this conspiracy," Mansour said in a press conference at the club's headquarters on Saturday.
Mansour made the announcement after the club's financial director was detained pending investigations into alleged illegal currency trading. Mansour held the press conference to clarify the management's position on the situation.
"I respect the law, but the president [Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi] would not be satisfied with what happened recently with Zamalek," Mansour said.
"I would like to thank Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhi for supporting the club," the outspoken lawyer said, adding that former Zamalek chairman Mamdouh Abbas "should be referred to court for his violations."
"The board had asked the [detained] financial director to obtain in accordance with regulations the foreign currency needed for the club teams when they travel abroad, but we are not responsible for any violation by the employee."
"I am ready for any investigation. The board is ready to respond with evidence to any accusations," he added.
In November 2017, the 66-year-old Mansour was re-elected as Zamalek president for a second term to remain in charge of the Whites until 2021.
"When we took charge of Zamalek in 2014, there was only EGP 600 in the club's treasury, but now the balance is EGP 230 million," the chairman said.
"The club is facing a continuous and funded conspiracy. The current board is more respectable than those who lodge complaints against us," Mansour said.
The head of the club's employees syndicate announced at the press conference that the employees will go on strike in solidarity with the board and their detained colleague.
The club's sports activities manager has also defended the board, highlighting their role in Zamalek's revival in recent years.
Mansour, a highly controversial figure who is known for his fiery remarks and constant squabbles with opponents, was elected chairman of Zamalek for the third time in March 2014.
During Mansour's last term, Zamalek witnessed several achievements at both the sports and structural levels.
Zamalek's football team won the 2014/15 Premier League title after 10 years of absence. The Whites also won three successive Egypt Cup titles in 2014, 2015 and 2016, as well as the Super Cup title in 2016.
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