Zamalek chairman accuses sports minister of favouring rivals Ahly
Hatem Maher, Wednesday 15 May 2013
In a foul-mouthed outburst, Zamalek's chairman launches a scathing attack on sports minister El-Amry Farouk, accusing him of being biased towards arch-rivals Ahly

Zamalek's chairman Mamdouh Abbas, whose mandate should end at the end of May, accused sports minister El-Amry Farouk of favouring arch-rivals Ahly after he decided to appoint a stop-gap board of directors to take charge of the club until September's elections.

The White Knights argue that the incumbent chairman should remain in charge of the club until a new board is elected but Farouk insists that he must leave immediately following the end of his term.

"I did not believe in the conspiracy theory, but now it's clear that they [the ministry] are trying to destabilize the club," Abbas, a wealthy businessman and a life-long Zamalek supporter, told a news conference on Wednesday.

"Farouk belongs to Ahly, and he doesn't treat the clubs equally because he wants to favour his club.

"If he is a real man, he can try to appoint an interim board and I will cut off his leg ... we are not thugs and we are not rude but I will not deal with such a vile in a diplomatic manner," he added.

Farouk, a former Ahly board member, was appointed as sports minister in August last year and was credited with helping end a lengthy stoppage of domestic football following the Port Said disaster.

He was involved in a dispute with Ahly over a controversial law that would have prevented the Red Devils' board members from running for elections for a third consecutive term.

However, the law was eventually modified, paving the way for the members to run for elections for a third term, albeit in a different role.

Abbas was attacked by his own Zamalek supporters during last year's African Champions League campaign after the club finished bottom of their group with two points from six games.

But the club have put in some impressive displays this season, making their best-ever Egyptian Premier League start to secure their place in the final round with four games to spare. They have also reached the Champions League group stage, where they were paired with arch-rivals Ahly for the second successive season.

"I've decided not to stand in the upcoming elections after the fans asked me to leave last year," Abbas said.

Zamalek have struggled to generate revenues under Abbas, prompting the disgruntled players to threaten to strike over unpaid salaries.

Controversial and outspoken lawyer Mortada Mansour is favourite to become the new Zamalek chairman in September.

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