Shehata and Jose (photo: Ahly website)
Zamalek technical staff, led by manager Hassan Shehata and their captain goalkeeper Abdel-Wahed El-Sayed, attended Ahly’s Thursday training session in a show of solidarity with the players after the traumatic events at Port Said stadium disaster on 1 February.
“What happened has hit all of Egypt not only Ahly,” the 62 year-old manager was quoted as saying on Ahly’s official website.
Over 74 football fans were killed and hundreds injured when thousands of Masry fans stormed the pitch in the Port Said stadium attacking the Ahly supporters, after the day-17 league game.
Investigations into Egypt's worst football disaster are still ongoing, in the meantime, football activities have been suspended across the country. The Egyptian Football Association elected board resigned following the tragedy leaving the newly appointed chairman Anwar Saleh to make the difficult decision whether or not to restart the competition.
Zamalek's coach Hassan Shehata with Ahly's players (Photo: Ahly's Website)
“Our visit to Ahly [Zamalek’s bitter rivals] is a message to all football fans in the country that the relationship between the two clubs is good and there is no place for intolerance in Egyptian football,” insisted the former Egyptian national team coach, whose leadership saw the Pharaohs win three successive Africa Cup of Nations.
Shehata also praised Ahly’s Portuguese manager Manuel Jose for pausing the session when the Whites arrived in order to welcome them.
“I hope my visit makes a difference, as I share good relations with former Egypt players in Ahly like Mohamed Abou-Trieka, Hossam Ghaly, Wael Goma’a, Ahmed Fathy, Mohamed Nagy ‘Geddo’ and El-Sayed Hamdy,” Shehata added.
The Red Castle’s football director Sayed Abdel-Hafiz thanked Shehata praising his respectful gestures since the disastrous events on 1 February.
“Shehata was in touch with us when we were in the Port Said stadium dressing room on the night of the massacre and he refused to continue the Ismaily match [that kicked off right after the Ahly-Masry game],” Abdel-Hafiz said.
“We must invest in our relationships in order to clear hooliganism from all of Egypt's pitches,” Abdel-Hafiz concluded.
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