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Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Preview: Zamalek's Egyptian league run clouded by off-field problems

Zamalek risk FIFA sanctions if they do not settle outstanding payments to former players

Ahram Online , Sunday 28 Feb 2021
Zamalek
Zamalek celebrate a late winner in their 2-1 victory over Ismaily in their previous Egyptian Premier League game (Ahram)
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Zamalek are contending with an array of off-field problems which they hope won't derail their Egyptian Premier League bid as they meet lowly Wadi Degla on Monday.

The White Knights risk being deducted points or being slapped with transfer bans over outstanding payments to former players.

An interim three-man committee that runs the club is fighting on several fronts as it seeks to rescue the club from looming sanctions.

Zamalek have to soon pay millions of dollars to the likes of Ghanaian striker Benjamin Acheampong, Moroccan striker Khalid Boutaib and Tunisian right-back Hamdi Nagguez, who ae all owed money by the cash-strapped side.

The Cairo giants also have to settle outstanding payments with Portuguese clubs Sporting Lisbon and C.S. Maritimo over past deals involving Zamalek's skipper Mahmoud Shikabala and their former playmaker Mohamed Ibrahim respectively. 

Zamalek will be seeking to make light of those problems when they meet Degla as they aim to maintain their fine run in the competition, which they have not won since 2015.

They lie on top of the table with 29 points from 12 games, although defending champions and perennial Cairo rivals Ahly will overtake them if they win their three rescheduled games.

Degla, who are known for their over-reliance on build-up play, which cost them dear on numerous occasions, have made a disastrous start to the season as they lie at the bottom with only seven points from 13 matches.

Zamalek welcome back key defender Mahmoud El-Wensh after he recovered from injury but winger Ahmed Zizo is ruled out due to a hamstring complaint.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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