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Brazilian coach Vieira to leave Egypt's Zamalek at end of season

Jorvan Vieira set to leave Egypt's Zamalek at the end of the season due to mounting financial problems

Hatem Maher, Tuesday 21 May 2013
Jorvan Vieira
Zamalek coach Jorvan Vieira (photo: Ahram)
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Zamalek coach Jorvan Vieira said on Tuesday he will not extend his deal that runs out at the end of the season due to the club's persistent financial woes.

Speaking after Zamalek eased into the Egypt Cup last16 with a 3-0 victory over second-division side Tersana, the Brazilian said he was looking to end the season in the best possible way before departing.

"I will not extend my contract; the current situation is very bad. I and the players have not received our salaries for long," Vieira, under whom Zamalek turned into genuine Egyptian Premier League contenders after living the shadows of rivals Ahly in the past decade, told the post-match news conference.

"What I intend to do is to complete the season before leaving. This is a commitment I should fulfil as a professional coach. I just want to leave Zamalek in the best possible shape."

Zamalek's success on the pitch this season is in stark contrast to their mounting financial difficulties, which prompted the players to threaten to strike more than once.

Chairman Mamdouh Abbas, a wealthy businessman and life-long Zamalek fan, has recently launched an astonishing attack on skipper Abdel-Wahed El-Sayed, accusing him of lying about the club's financial situation.

Zamalek have for years struggled to translate their popularity into revenues, relying more on the money of individuals running the club to stay afloat amid little support from the government, which owns the club.

They are consistently outshone by bitter foes Ahly, Egypt's most professional side who make the most of their financial muscle to lure high-profile players every season.

However, despite their financial troubles, Zamalek appeared formidable this season, brushing aside their Premier League opponents far too easily to qualify for the final round in the competition's new two-group format with four matches to spare.

Vieira was credited with turning around their fortunes after taking charge of the club following the departure of former Egypt boss Hassan Shehata in the summer of 2012.

He injected fresh blood into the team and gave some fringe players a new lease of life, creating a side with a resolute defence, compact midfield and efficient attack.

The 59-year-old, best known for steering Iraq to the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, denied that he had been in contact with Ahly over a possible move at the end of the season.

"Ahly are a big and professional club, do you think they will open talks with a coach who is tied to another club?" Vieira told reporters.

"I'm committed to honouring my deal with Zamalek," he added.

Zamalek have also reached the African Champions League group stage under Vieira's guidance after overcoming Chad's Gazelle, AS Vita Club of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia's Saint George in the preliminary rounds.

They were drawn in Group A along with Ahly, South Africa's Orlando Pirates and Congo's AC Leopards.

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