Last Update 23:51
Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Unbending Zamalek consider league withdrawal, still demand Maqassa rematch

The club's controversial chairman called an extraordinary general assembly meeting to decide on league withdrawal, slamming several EFA members

Eslam Omar , Thursday 9 Mar 2017
Zamalek's Boss Moratada Mansour (Al-Ahram)

Zamalek's club board have called for an extraordinary general assembly meeting on Friday to decide if the team will continue in the current season or not, in the wake of a referee scuffle in Friday's game with Maqassa.

"We had a very obvious penalty kick and the referee [Gehad Greisha] intended to abandon it," said the club's outspoken chairman Mortada Mansour during a press conference in his office at the club's headquarters in Cairo.

Following a 1-0 loss in their last Egyptian Premier League game against Maqassa, Zamalek, under the helm of Mansour, demanded a rematch from the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) citing "intentional refereeing mistakes."

"The Maqassa officials should have admitted the penalty kick in this presser," Mansour said, sharply criticising Maqassa officials and many members of the EFA including referees committee head Essam Abdel-Fattah and board member Hazem El-Hawary.

Zamalek said they will file a complaint against the EFA with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over what they called "illegitimate changes in the competition."

While the association has not shown any sign of allowing a rematch, Mansour -- a member of parliament -- is sticking to the request, saying it is standard practice to replay games.

"I [would have] agreed to replay the Egypt Super Cup [which Zamalek won] if Ahly had asked," Mansour said earlier in a television program.

Refereeing committee head refuses bias accusations

The EFA's referees committee head Essam Abdel-Fattah issued a long statement Thursday afternoon defending the committee and the referees.

"We are doing our best to make the referees take back their confidence despite all the pressure against them, which reached the extent of accusing them of corruption," said Abdel-Fattah, who took the position only one month ago, through the EFA official website.

"After 45 matches in the second round of the season, we documented only three refereeing mistakes. We admitted that abandoning the Maqassa-Zamalek penalty was one of them but decided not to punish Greisha because we trust his honesty," he added.

Mansour responded to Abdel-Fattah's statement by saying "this statement belongs to the nearest garbage can."

The Whites, whose league title hopes were severely dented, kick off their CAF Champions League campaign against Nigeria's Enugu Rangers at home on Friday. 

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