Exodus of players infuriates cash-strapped Ismaily

Hatem Maher, Tuesday 10 Apr 2012

Abdallah El-Shahat becomes the latest player to leave cash-strapped Ismaily, who feel competitors are exploiting their financial struggles

Ismaily fans

Coastal club Ismaily, angry at the ongoing exodus of players following the Egyptian Premier League’s cancellation, hit out at ENPPI for snapping up Abdallah El-Shahat on Tuesday.

The versatile midfielder moved to the government-owned club, who are backed by a wealthy petroleum company, on a four-year deal on a free transfer amid Ismaily’s struggle to keep hold of their key players.

Defender Ibrahim Yehia also joined ENPPI, to the frustration of Ismaily who released a statement to condemn the fellow Premier League club for using “public money” to take advantage of the problems they are enduring.

“The Ismaily supporters were infuriated by the news that ENPPI have signed Abdallah El-Shahat,” the Dervishes, who won the last of their three league titles in 2002, said on their official website.

“The fans believe the club is being targeted by ENPPI officials, who are trying to benefit from the financial problems of the popular clubs.

“So Ismaily would like to call on authorities, including the ruling military and the prime minister, to put an end to that. ENPPI officials must also stop that, given that they rely on the money of the Egyptian people to make such transfers.

“The Ismaily fans decided to stage a protest in front of the ENPPI company headquarters on Friday,” the club added.

Ismaily are struggling to stay afloat after the league was cancelled in the wake of the Port Said disaster, which left at least 74 football fans dead on the first of February following a pitch invasion in a game between Masry and Ahly.

Several Ismaily players have jumped ship, including Ahmed Samir Farag, Salah Maradona, Yehia and El-Shahat.

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