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Egypt coach Shehata snubs Shikabala

Instead of supporting Shikabala, Shehata dismisses the extent of the racial abuse he endures from Ahly fans

DPA, Friday 31 Dec 2010
Shehata & Shikabala
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Egypt coach Hassan Shehata decided not to recall Mahmoud Abdel-Razek ‘Shikabala’ to the Pharaohs’ squad again, German news agency DPA reported on Friday.

The DPA’s Arabic service said Shehata opted to come down hard on the Zamalek attacking midfielder after he announced his retirement from international football ‘without any justifications.’

Zamalek Director of Football Ibrahim Hassan revealed in the early hours of Friday that Shikabala would no longer play for Egypt due to the racist taunts he is consistently subjected to by Ahly fans.

The 24-year-old was jeered by the Ahly fans when he was substituted during Thursday’s Cairo derby clash, which ended goalless.

Shehata has decided not to call up Shikabala for the time being, even if he excels for Zamalek in the domestic and African competitions, DPA added.

Despite his undoubted talent, Shikabala has been unable to carve out a successful career with the Egyptian national team.

He was accused by Shehata of feigning injury to skip an African Cup of Nations qualifier in September and he further stirred controversy after pulling out of Egypt’s squad for a friendly game against Australia in November, citing a back injury.

Shikabala missed out on Egypt’s 2006 and 2008 Nations Cup winning squads and only made one appearance in the 2010 triumph in Angola.

He has taken the Egyptian Premier League by storm this season though, scoring nine goals and creating several more to help Zamalek open up a six-point lead over arch rivals Ahly at the top of the table.

-Edited by Hatem Maher

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