Tearful El-Badry leaves Egypt's Ahly for Libyan adventure

Hatem Maher, Sunday 5 May 2013

The Ahly coach leaves Egyptian giants Ahly to take charge of Ahly Tripoli in Libya, citing personal reasons

Hossam El-Badry
Hossam El-Badry waves goodbye to Ahly (photo: Ahram)

Ahly's coach Hossam El-Badry, who had mixed fortunes in two spells at the helm of Egypt's most successful club, will leave the club to take charge of Ahly Tripoli, the Libyan side announced on Sunday.

Ahly Tripoli's chairman Sasi Bououn said in a television interview that El-Badry had penned a one-year contract with the club, which will take effect on 1 June.

The surprise announcement came right after Egypt's Ahly reached the African Champions League group stage following a 2-1 victory over Tunisia's Bizertin in Cairo.

Although El-Badry refrained from confirming that he would take over at Ahly Tripoli, he admitted in the post-match news conference that it "would be difficult to remain in charge of Ahly".

"There are several reasons for that, personal ones. There are some family problems which are making it difficult for me to stay," said the 53-year-old, who broke down in tears.

"Moreover, I think it will not be easy for the board of directors to strengthen the team's squad next season because of the ongoing financial problems.

"I'm here to win trophies, and if I can't guarantee that, it will be difficult to stay," he added.

El-Badry first took charge of Ahly in 2009 following the departure of highly-successful manager Manuel Jose, whom he worked with as an assistant for several years.

He hardly won over the team's fans despite guiding the team to the 2010 Egyptian Premier League title, with the supporters often comparing him to predecessor Jose, under whom the Red Devils won a host of domestic and continental titles in emphatic fashions.

He was dismissed in November 2010 after Ahly were knocked out of the African Champions League semi-final at the hands of Tunisia's Esperance.

He was then appointed as coach of Sudanese side Al-Merreikh but replaced Jose at Ahly's helm for the second time in the summer of 2012 after the Portuguese departed in the wake of the Port Said disaster that forced a lengthy suspension of domestic football.

El-Badry defied the odds to lead Ahly to a record-extending seventh Champions League title at the expense of Esperance, earning a growing popularity among the team's faithful after living in Jose's shadow for years.

Ahly had also made a fine start to their league campaign this season under his guidance but will have to find a replacement soon as they bid for an eighth consecutive league crown.

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