Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

ZA­MALEK’S charis­matic chair­man Mor­tada Man­sour has been search­ing for an­swers this week as to why his side ca­pit­u­lated in Pre­to­ria and lost the first leg of their African Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal 3-0 to Mamelodi Sun­downs.

It ap­pears he does not believe the sim­plest rea­sons avail­able — that they were out­played by a bet­ter team on the day — and has turned his at­ten­tion to claims that Sun­downs‚ or dis­grun­tled for­mer Za­malek play­ers‚ used juju or “magic” in the goal of keeper Ahmed El-Shenawy.

Man­sour‚ known for out­landish state­ments‚ told a Press con­fer­ence in Cairo that Sun­downs had de­feated his side us­ing nonf o o t b a l l i n g means ‚ lead­ing to the own goal from Is­lam Ga­mal‚ es­pe­cially as Ali Gabr had also scored an own goal in the same net dur­ing the pool phase.

“I want to tell ev­ery­body to not make fun of our claims that there was some­thing sus­pi­cious in Is­lam Ga­mal’s own goal‚” Man­sour said.

“It is ab­nor­mal that Is­lam Ga­mal scores an own goal in the same way Ali Gabr scored w i th b e for e with the his same foot and in the same net. “It is not nec­es­sary that it is Sun­downs who have used magic‚ look for the for­mer Za­malek play­ers who were ex­pelled from the club.” Man­sour added that he has in­vited Egyp­tian pres­i­dent Ab­delFat­tah El-Sisi to Sun­day’s re­turn leg in Alexan­dria‚ along with the ambassadors of Al­ge­ria‚ Morocco‚ Saudi Ara­bia and Tu­nisia in a show of Ara­bic sol­i­dar­ity against the South Africans. Man­sour‚ who it would ap­pear could pick a fight with his own shadow‚ has a long-stand­ing feud with the club’s Ul­tras fans and this week ap­peared to dis­miss a call for rec­on­cil­i­a­tion from the group‚ who he claims have tried to kill him in the past. Mean­while‚ Za­malek coach Momen Soli­man has in­cluded goal­keeper El-Shen­nawy in his squad for the sec­ond leg. The Egypt in­ter­na­tional went off in the sec­ond half of the game at At­teridgeville with what ap­peared to be a mus­cle in­jury‚ and was re­placed by Mah­moud Gen­nesh. A call on his fit­ness will be made later in the week. — Times­live

Mor­tada Man­sour

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