Zamalek deny banning Shikabala from training

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Tuesday 24 Jul 2012

Whites' talented troublemaker Shikabala will resume training but not in company of teammates, says coach

Zamalek's Shikabala (Photo: Bassam El-Zoghbi)

Zamalek is not banning forward Mahmoud Abdel-Razek 'Shikabala' from training sessions, the Whites' assistant coach Ismail Youssef revealed late Monday.

Head coach Hassan Shehata suspended the 26-year-old player for an indefinite period after both men were involved in a touchline row during Zamalek's 2-0 win over Maghreb Fes in a Champions League round-of-16 match in May.

The former Egypt coach advised the club's board to loan the troublesome player out, given that he did not feature in his plans for the new season. A deal never materialised, however, with Zamalek saying they did not receive a tangible offer for the talented Shikabala.

"We didn't stop Shikabala from attending training sessions. We will assign him to a definite training programme and he must commit to it," Youssef told the club's official website.

Shikabala, who was fined LE2 million for the incident by Zamalek, officially apologised last month to the club's fans, the board and the coaching staff for his recent misbehaviour, stressing that he would accept any disciplinary action imposed on him. Shehata stood firm on his decision, however, rejecting calls for reconciliation.

"Shikabala will not join his teammates in training; he will train alone in the coming period," Youssef said.

Zamalek players are currently taking a break following Sunday's 1-0 loss to arch rivals Ahly in the second round of the CAF Champions League group stage. On Wednesday, they will begin preparations for their third-round clash with TP Mazembe on 4 August.

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