File photo of Zamalek's Mahmoud Shikabala (Ahram)
Zamalek's veteran winger Mahmoud Shikabala was handed an eight-month ban on Sunday after being involved in a heated exchange with the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) chief during the team's league celebrations on Friday.
Shikabala, a fan favourite who is no stranger to controversy, was videoed remonstrating with Ahmed Megahed following the end of Zamalek's final league game of the season against NBE club.
Reports said Shikabala was furious that some of his teammates, who were not included in the match's squad, and their wives were not allowed on the pitch during the post-match celebrations as Zamalek were presented with the league trophy.
Megahed reportedly approached the 35-year-old to tell him it was not his job to decide who gets in, sparking a furious exchange. Videos showed Shikabala being restrained by security personnel.
"Shikabala is suspended for eight months and given an EGP 500,000 (roughly $31,750) fine for inciting fans, insulting the EFA and verbally abusing its officials as well as not respecting the league's coronation ceremony," the Egyptian governing body said in a statement.
Zamalek's right-back Hazem Emam was also suspended for four games over "unsporting behavior", the EFA said without elaborating further.
Zamalek are likely to appeal Shikabala's suspension, which effectively rules him out of the entire season.
Shikabala's career has been blighted by numerous disciplinary problems as he failed to live up to his potential due to some off-field antics.
Most recently, he was caught on television cameras making an offensive chant against Ahly along with a small contingent of Zamalek supporters after the White Knights were crowned Egyptian champions with one match to spare last week. The EFA did not refer to this incident when announcing Shikabala's penalty.
There is no love lost between Shikabala and Ahly's supporters. He has been involved in numerous confrontations with the Red Devils' fans throughout his troublesome career, often responding to any offensive chants in an unruly manner.
Earlier this year, he was handed a two-game ban for pointing to his shoe in an apparent insulting gesture to Ahly's supporters during a 1-1 Cairo derby draw.
Shikabala scored two goals and provided five assists in all competitions this season.
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