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Egypt's FA attacks Zamalek chairman over his criticism of referees

Ahram Online , Tuesday 26 Jan 2016
Mortada Mansour
File Photo: Mortada Mansour conference in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, April 6, 2014.(AP)

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) hit back at Zamalek's outspoken chairman Mortada Mansour over his criticism of its refereeing committee, calling on domestic clubs to refrain from "stirring fury among fans". 

Mansour launched an attack against refereeing committee chief Gamal El-Ghandour, Egypt's most popular referee who officiated at the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, following Zamalek's 1-1 draw against Smouha.

The controversial lawyer implied that El-Ghandour is being biased against his team, whose four-match winning run under new coach Mido came to an end against Smouha.

"The association is discontented over Zamalek's boss statement against the refereeing committee and its head Gamal El-Ghandour because it included a threat," the EFA said on a statement published on its official website Tuesday.

The EFA also responded to Mansour's claim that he was the one who had approved the appointment of Ghandour, who also officiated at the European Championship, African Cup of Nations and the FIFA Confederations Cup during his glittering career. 

"It's the association decision to appoint El-Ghandour in this critical post and we are confident he is the right man for the job. This is the association's right and nobody should interfere in that," the EFA added.

Last month, Mansour said he launched a lawsuit before the general prosecutor against the refereeing committee chief, which was then led by Ahmed Wagih, over corruption claims.

"We demand that all clubs act in a responsible manner and not to stir fury among football fans," the association said.

Egypt has a sad history of crowd trouble; 72 Ahly fans died after being attacked by supporters of rivals Masry in Port Said back in 2012 while another 20 Zamalek fans were killed in a stampede in February 2015 when they were tear-gassed by security forces before the start of an Egyptian league game at Cairo's Air Defence Stadium.

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