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Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Zamalek rebuff reports of dressing-room rift after Orlando Pirates debacle

The White Knights players ‘were not involved in a row with their coach' ahead of Saturday's humiliating defeat

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Tuesday 20 Aug 2013
Zamalek
Zamlek's Goal keeper Abdel-Wahed El-Sayed (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Cairo giants Zamalek denied that there was a rift between the technical staff and players ahead of Saturday's embarrassing loss at South Africa's Orlando Pirates.

The White Knights were thrashed 4-1 by Orlando to remain at the bottom of Group A of the African Champions League with a solitary point, six behind the South Africans and three adrift of Cairo rivals Ahly and Congo’s Leopards, who both have four points.

A recent report by Egyptian local media said that one of the main reasons for the defeat was that some players were refusing to get onto the pitch as an objection to the starting line-up announced by their coach Helmi Toulan.

"All what was reported about a rift between the players and their coach is totally false as the players stepped onto the pitch on time," the club said in a statement in its official website on Monday.

Despite being in a must-win situation, coach Helmi Toulan opted to leave veteran goalkeeper Abdel-Wahed El-Sayed and midfielder Ahmed Hassan out of Zamalek’s starting line-up, which reportedly led to a dressing-room rift.

Zamalek insisted that the relationship between El-Sayed and stand-in keeper Mahmoud Abdel-Rehim “Gennesh” is “very good”.

"We hope that all media outlets only write the truth about the club to avoid negatively affecting the team without a valid reason," Zamalek added.

Under the guidance of Toulan, success-starved Zamalek are chasing their first continental title since 2002.

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