Zamalek chairman gives coach Vieira vote of confidence

Hatem Maher, Saturday 25 Aug 2012

The Zamalek chairman vehemently denies that the club intend to sack Jorvan Vieira and bring in Hossam Hassan as replacement

Jorvan Vieira
Former Iraq coach Jorvan Vieira to stay in charge of Zamalek (Photo: Reuters)

Zamalek chairman Mamdouh Abbas has on Saturday gave coach Jorvan Vieira a vote of confidence after widespread rumours suggested the Brazilian might be sacked after just one game in charge.

Vieira’s debut saw Zamalek fail to end a losing streak in a disastrous African Champions League group-stage campaign after they slumped to 2-1 defeat by DR Congo’s Mazembe in Cairo.

The result left them at the bottom of Group B with no points with two matches to go, shattering their hopes of reaching the semi-finals of Africa’s premier club competition for the first time since 2005.

“Zamalek have hired a high-profile coach, and the board of directors will continue to support him in the upcoming period,” wealthy businessman Abbas, a long-life Zamalek fan, said on the club’s official website.

“The club will never become a laughing stock, the board is the only party which takes decisions ... we will never allow anyone to destroy the club’s unity,” he added in an implicit reference to some renowned Zamalek fans who suggested that former boss Hossam Hassan replace Vieira.

Hassan, who is set to leave Port Said-based club Masry, was in charge of Zamalek between 2009 and 2011 but he failed to end the team’s lengthy Egyptian Premier League drought.

Under his guidance, Zamalek boasted a six-point lead over arch-rivals Ahly at the halfway stage of the 2010-2011 season but the Red Devils rallied back to clinch a seventh consecutive league title.

“I never agreed to dismiss Vieira and appoint Hossam Hassan as the coach,” added Abbas, who is heavily criticized by the White Knights’ fans due to a string of poor results.

Zamalek won the last of their 11 league titles in 2004. They have not won any title since lifting the Egypt Cup trophy in 2008.

The club are suffering from persistent financial problems that unsettled many players, including veteran midfielder and Egypt skipper Ahmed Hassan who made no secret of his desire to depart.

Zamalek have already lost influential duo Amr Zaki and Mahmoud Abdel-Razek ‘Shikabala’, who joined Turkey’s Elazigspor and United Arab Emirates club Al-Wasl respectively.

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