Preview: More instability plagues Zamalek ahead of league game

Ahram Online , Sunday 21 Nov 2021

Zamalek are in for more administrative instability before they meet NBE Club in the Egyptian Premier League on Monday, with suspended chairman Mortada Mansour expected to be reinstated in an unexpected twist.

Zamalek 2-0 Ismaily
Zamalek beat Ismaily 2-0 in their previous Egyptian Premier League game (Photo: the club s official Twitter account)

Mansour, an outspoken and controversial lawyer, was suspended exactly a year ago over financial irregularities, with two interim committees having taken charge of the club since.

Although Zamalek beat the odds to pip perennial Cairo rivals Ahly to the league title last season, they were beset by a myriad of problems due to lack of sufficient funds.

The club were banned by FIFA from registering new players for two transfer windows, which saw them enter the new season without any signings, and they risk further sanctions should they fail to settle several ongoing cases with some former players and coaches.

Under Mansour, Zamalek seemed financially stable but his departure uncovered catastrophic administrative errors committed during his reign, which plunged the club in deep troubles.

Prosecution investigations failed to identify any financial irregularities though, paving the way for his return, only two months before Zamalek are scheduled to hold fresh board elections.

French coach Patrice Carteron, the mastermind of Zamalek's league success last term, is still steadying the ship, with the team maintaining a fine run that was interrupted by a stunning 5-3 loss to Ahly in the Cairo derby early this month.

They sit three points behind Ahly after four games, with their bitter foes having bagged maximum points.

NBE club have always proven a tough nut to crack since they sealing promotion to the top flight last season, and they are expected to provide a stiff test to Zamalek, given their solid defensive displays.

They lie ninth in the table with six points from four matches.

Zamalek will have to do without star Moroccan winger Achraf Bencharki, who picked up an ankle injury in the recent 2-0 victory over Ismaily, when the team needed late goals from Ahmed Zizo and Omar El-Said to claim all three points.

Experienced right-back Hazem Emam is back though after serving a four-game suspension.

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