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Thursday, 16 September 2021

Zamalek's outspoken chairman says coach Soliman stepped down

Hatem Maher , Saturday 5 Nov 2016
Moemen Soliman
Zamalek coach Moemen Soliman (Ahram)

Zamalek's outspoken chairman Mortada Mansour said rookie coach Moemen Soliman stepped down on Saturday, one day after the team made it three wins out of four Egyptian Premier League games with a 1-0 victory over Masry.

A depleted Zamalek side, bereft of several regulars because of injuries, needed a header from towering striker Ahmed Gaafar, who returned to the club in the summer, on the stroke of halftime to down a resilient Masry side.

Masry had the upper hand throughout the match and were unlucky not to at least secure a share of spoils after wasting a couple of clear-cut chances in the dying minutes.

The manner of Zamalek's win did not go down well with fiery-tempered chairman Mansour, who sat down with Soliman on Saturday to discuss the causes of the poor display.

It was not immediately clear what happened in the meeting but Mansour said Soliman had submitted his resignation. The controversial lawyer also said the 42-year-old manager had until midnight to retract his decision.

Soliman took over at Zamalek in July after the club had lost the league title to arch-rivals Ahly. He helped the team exact revenge on their bitter foes after beating them 3-1 in the Egypt Cup final following a convincing performance.

The White Knights also reached the African Champions League final under his guidance but he was criticised after they suffered a 3-1 aggregate loss to South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns that included en embarrassing 3-0 first-leg defeat in Pretoria.

Mansour, who is not particularly known for being patient, gave him a vote of confidence and Zamalek managed to win four matches out of five in the league, only drawing with Smouha.

Zamalek had played under nine coaches, with some having two spells, since Mansour was elected as the club's chairman in March 2014.

Local reports suggested that former Egypt coach Hassan Shehata is a frontrunner to replace Soliman.

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