BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
Stake holders of Zamalek Sports Club, Cairo Egypt, are gathering this Friday to consider a proposal of withdrawing the club from the Egyptian league. Zamalek’s club board have called for an extraordinary general assembly meeting to decide if the team will continue in the current season owing to poor officiating in their last Friday’s league match with Maqassa.
Information gathered from Cairo revealed that the chairman of Zamalek, Mortada Mansour is very furious.
Hear him: “We had a very obvious penalty kick and the referee (Gehad Greisha) ignored it,” the club’s outspoken chairman Mortada Mansour told a press conference in his office at the club’s headquarters in Cairo on Thursday.
Following a 1-0 loss in their last Egyptian Premier League game against Maqassa, Zamalek, demanded a rematch from the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) citing “intentional refereeing mistakes.”
Zamalek said they will file a complaint against the EFA with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over what they called “illegitimate changes in the competition.”
While the association has not shown any sign of allowing a rematch, Mansour — a member of parliament — is sticking to the request, saying it is standard practice to replay games.
“I [would have] agreed to replay the Egypt Super Cup [which Zamalek won] if Ahly had asked,” Mansour said earlier in a television program. The EFA’s referees committee head Essam Abdel-Fattah issued a long statement Thursday afternoon defending the committee and the referees.
“We are doing our best to make the referees take back their confidence despite all the pressure against them, which reached the extent of accusing them of corruption,” said Abdel-Fattah, who took the position only one month ago, through the EFA official website.
“After 45 matches in the second round of the season, we documented only three refereeing mistakes. We admitted that abandoning the Maqassa-Zamalek penalty was one of them but decided not to punish Greisha because we trust his honesty,” he added.
Mansour responded to Abdel-Fattah’s statement by saying “this statement belongs to the nearest garbage can.”