Zamalek president Mortada Mansour was not bluffing when he threatened to withdraw his team from Cairo Derby over what he termed as unfair sanctions against his players in the aftermath of Egypt Super Cup against Al Ahly in Dubai last week.
The White Knights failed to turn up for the much anticipated Egypt Premier League tie against rivals Al Ahly on Monday evening at Cairo International Stadium.
Match officials, brought in from Lithuania, 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.
But what led to this farce?
Mansour had strongly protested after the Egyptian Football Association had banned Eman Ashour for the rest of the season and suspended 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. Both clubs were fined $6500 for their failure to control the players.
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.
As EFA stood their ground Carteron named the squad that will have played on Monday night but it was full of U-18s and other academy players. The U-18 coach Ahmed Abdelmaksood would have led the rest of the academy technical bench in taking charge of the tie. But they eventually decided to stay away from the match venue!
EFA has confirmed that they will take punitive action on Zamalek for their decision not to take part in the Cairo Derby, arguably the biggest league match in Egypt.
⬇️ Predict 6 EPL football scores with Futaa6 and you could win the $10,000 Jackpot, best of all it’s completely free to play every week in the Futaa Android App Download it now to play!
Read More: Arsenal linked with two Real Madrid outcasts