Ahly Striker Emad Meteb (Photo: Ahram Online archive)
Ahly star Emad Meteb express sadness at feeling abandoned by the team's technical staff after he was not called on by the coach to enter the game in his side's 1-0 home loss to Jordan's Faisaly in the Arab Championship Saturday.
"I didn't make the starting 11 list, so I was sure I will be the first substitute striker. I started my warm-up trainings in the 50th minute, as usual, but Walid Azaro was called to the pitch so I sat back on the bench," Meteb has told an Egyptian television programme after the game.
Meteb's statements come after media reports suggested he refused to enter the game as a sub after Faisaly scored in the 55th minute.
"I am not sure if I am allowed to speak to the media or not, but I am keen to make things clear because I noticed the reports spreading saying I refused to play. Someone wants to make up a fake dispute and put me in it," he said.
"No one asked me to warm up after that. Only the changing room worker, Hareth, told me that trainer Sayed Moawad asks me to warm up, so I told him I already did," said Meteb.
"Nothing more happened and if anybody has another account, please come out. I have never received orders from a worker. Only technical staff members should give players such instructions and if they want to eliminate me from the team, they can tell me directly," added Meteb, who is tied to the Cairo giants for another year.
"I will always want to remain at my boyhood club, my home, the club I belong to, until club officials tell me they don't want me," Meteb said.
The 34-year-old international was part of Ahly's greatest era, inspiring them to win dozens of trophies, including three Champions League trophys, three Super Cup wins, one Confederation Cup and over 15 domestic championships.
Meteb saw limited playing time in few games during the 2016-2017 league competition, which Ahly claimed.
"Sombody forgot who Emad Meteb is. I haven't had such an experience before," Meteb told Sada Al-Balad channel's anchor Ahmed Shobeir after the game.
Ahly will be looking to recover from the opening loss when they face the Saudi side Al-Wahda Tuesday, before they play Algeria's NA Hussein Friday.
The winners of each of the three groups will advance to the semis along with the best second-placed side.
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