Zamalek wants replay of Maqassa match after refereeing controversy

Ahram Online , Saturday 4 Mar 2017

Zamalek officials conditioned Friday the team's continued participation in the domestic league on a replay of the Maqassa match

Mortada Mansour
File Photo: Zamalek's outspoken chairman Mortada Mansour (Ahram)

Zamalek management has threatened the team will withdraw from the Egyptian Premier League unless the Egyptian Football Association issues a decision to replay Friday's match against Maqassa that witnessed a refereeing controversy.

"We will withdraw from the Egyptian league unless the Maqassa match is being replayed," Zamalek's angry president Mortada Mansour told Sada El-Balad TV station after the match.

"We will play only in the Arab and African competitions," he added.

The Whites' league title hopes were severely dented following a 1-0 defeat at Maqassa in a match that was marred with a refereeing controversy at Suez’s Army Stadium.

The game saw referee Gehad Gerisha deny Zamalek a second-half penalty when Maqassa’s Ahmed Sami blatantly extended his arm inside the area to keep the ball away, with the visitors fuming at the official’s decision.

In an apparent attempt to withdraw from the match in stoppage time, almost all Zamalek players walked off the pitch, only to backtrack and resume play after the game had been halted for a few minutes.

"I took the decision of withdrawing from the match directly after the referee's wrong action, but the club's vice president told the players to leave the pitch after 15 minutes. The team resumed play as it was useless to withdraw just three minutes before the match end," explained Mansour who vented his anger on the referee; accusing him of preventing his team from the penalty on purpose.

EFA left the door open for a replay, but on certain conditions.

"The match could be replayed only if the referee confessed to fault in the match report," EFA's board member and head of the refereeing committee Essam Abdel-Fatah told DMC TV channel.

Egypt Cup holders Zamalek, who also have rescheduled game against Talae El-Geish, are third in the league with 40 points, five adrift of second-placed Maqassa. Ahly are top of the table with 52 points.

Zamalek board is set to hold an urgent meeting later Saturday to take a final descion regarding the club's league future.

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