By Nji Nelson Chefor
Sports Writer, kick442.com Cameroon
Zamalek president Mortada Mansour was seemingly not joking when he said he will withdraw his team from Cairo Derby against Al Ahly, over what he termed as unfair sanctions against his players in the aftermath of Egypt Super Cup in Dubai last week.
Zamalek failed to turn up for the much anticipated Egypt Premier League tie against rivals Al Ahly on Monday evening at Cairo International Stadium.
Despite bringing match officials from Lithuania, the Egyptian Football Association, EFA, waited for the mandatory 30 minutes to see if Zamalek will show up before calling off the match and Al Ahly were declared winners with 2-0 score.
The win sees Al Ahly remain on top of the league with 48 points from 16 matches while Zamalek sit third with 31 points.
The president of Zamalek, Mansour had strongly protested against the Egyptian Football Association for the banned inflicted on Eman Ashour for the rest of the season and the suspension Shikabala and Abdallah Gomaa for eight and two games respectively. The sanctions were imposed after the players were involved in a scuffle at the end of the Super Cup.
Al Ahly’s Mahmoud Karhaba was also banned for the rest of the season while Ibrahim Yasser and Junior Ajayi were suspended for two games each.
The Cairo Derby had been shrouded in controversy from last week after Mansour had announced that Zamalek will not take part in it and asked EFA to postpone the game. The club coach Patrice Carteron later wrote to the FA asking for a postponement citing his players’ fatigue after playing two matches within two weeks in the Gulf and their impending Champions League quarterfinal.
EFA has confirmed that they will take punitive action on Zamalek for their decision not to take part in the Cairo Derby on Monday February 24th.
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