Coach Shehata's job is safe, says Zamalek board member

Hatem Maher, Saturday 21 Jul 2012

Zamalek icon Hazem Emam gives coach Hassan Shehata a vote of confidence ahead of Sunday's Champions League clash against arch-rivals Ahly

Hassan Shehata

Zamalek coach Hassan Shehata will remain in charge of the team regardless of the outcome of Sunday's African Champions League clash against arch-rivals Ahly, board member and club icon Hazem Emam said on Saturday.

Speculation is rife that Shehata, one of Zamalek's all-time greats, could be shown the door if the team lost to Ahly in their second Group B campaign at Cairo's Military Academy Stadium.

The White Knights opened their group-stage campaign with a disappointing 3-2 loss at Ghana's Chelsea.

"The derby will not determine the fate of Shehata," Emam, one of Zamalek's prominent stars in the 1990s and early 2000s, was quoted as saying on Ahram's Arabic Sports website.

"We will hold onto Shehata, we will not let him leave because of the result of one game, even if that game is against rivals Ahly."

The former Egypt tactician took over at Zamalek last summer after leaving the Pharaohs, whom he guided to three consecutive African Nations Cup titles in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

He was on the verge of steering the team to their first title since 2008 when they reached the Egypt Cup final last year, only to lose 2-1 to ENPPI after surrendering their lead.

A loss against Ahly, who kicked off their Group B campaign with a 2-1 home victory over TP Mazembe of the DR Congo, on Sunday will dent the hopes of Zamalek to book a Champions League semi-final berth for the first time since 2005.

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