Egypt’s Zamalek are set to give embattled coach Helmi Toulan a vote of confidence despite a disappointing start to their African Champions League group-stage campaign that left their hopes of earning a semi-final berth in tatters.
“There will be a meeting tomorrow, during which the club will declare its support for coach Toulan,” Hamada Emam, a prominent Zamalek star in the 1950s and 60s and the current head of the club’s football committee, said on Ahram Sports on Saturday.
“The coach is working in very difficult conditions, given what the country is going through,” he added, referring to a political turmoil that has engulfed Egypt since the army’s ouster of President Mohamed Morsi on 3 July.
Toulan, an ex-Zamalek player, took charge of the club following the departure of Brazilian boss Jorvan Vieira, who was credited with turning around the team’s fortunes in his brief one-year stint.
Vieira, citing his frustration with the Cairo giants’ financial woes, opted not to renew his contract after the Egyptian Premier League was cancelled for the second consecutive season.
Toulan struggled to fill Vieira’s big shoes as the five-time African champions failed to record a single win in their first three Group A games of the Champions League.
They opened their campaign with a 1-1 draw against arch-rivals Ahly before slumping to a 1-0 loss to Congo’s AC Leopards and embarrassing 4-1 defeat by South Africa’s Orlando Pirates.
Zamalek lie at the bottom of the group with a solitary point, three behind Ahly and Leopards and six adrift of leaders Orlando Pirates with three matches remaining.
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