Zamalek chairman claims sorcery behind CL title loss, accuses referee of bribery

Ahram Online , Monday 24 Oct 2016

Some Zamalek players wept tears of despair following the final whistle after missing out on the chance of delivering the Champions League triumph

Zamalek's chairman Mortada Mansour (Reuters)

After losing CAF Champions League title to South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns, Zamalek chairman Mortada Mansour accused the game's Gambian referee Bakary Papa Gassama of bribery and claimed that black magic was behind losing more score chances.

Needing three goals without reply to level the aggregate score, Egypt's Zamalek was only able to win 1-0 in Alexandria, allowing South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns to clinch the African Champions League title for the first time in their history on Sunday.

"I have more proof to accuse the game's referee of bribery," Mansour told a television programme after the game.

"Zamalek deserved to have two penalty kicks that could have changed the game's result. That’s what I told CAF boss Issa Hayatou as I don't fear anyone," he added.

"We lost 18 score chances during the game due to black magic, as the ball refused to go through."

The first half ended goalless, leaving Zamalek under pressure after they slumped to an embarrassing 3-0 loss in the first leg in Pretoria last week.

Nigerian forward Stanley Ohawuchi broke the deadlock four minutes past the hour mark and Zamalek piled on pressure in the dying minutes to add to their lead, but Sundowns held firm in their second final appearance to win their maiden title, having lost to Zamalek's arch rivals Ahly in 2001.

Some home players wept tears of despair following the final whistle, having missed out on the chance to deliver the team's first Champions League triumph since they won the last of their five titles in 2002.

"I met with the players after the game and told them: if you delivered the same performance as today's game in the first leg we wouldn't have lost," Mansour said.

More than 60,000 fans flocked to Borg El-Arab Stadium in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria to cheer on the White Knights, whose novice coach Moemen Soliman admitted it would be a "miracle" to overturn the big deficit.

"I thank Zamalek fans for support during the game as well as for greeting the players after the game," the Zamalek chairman said.

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