Thursday,14 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1135, 14 - 20 February
Thursday,14 December, 2017
Issue 1135, 14 - 20 February

Ahram Weekly

Colourful ensemble

The highlight of the second week of the national football league was not the results but Zamalek’s new outfit and the new salary of Ahli’s head coach, Inas Mazhar reports

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Al-Ahram Weekly

It doesn’t seem that football fans cared much about the results of the second week of the national competition. They appeared more concerned with Zamalek’s new outfit which was the talk of the town than the results.
 Zamalek took spectators by surprise when they took to the pitch against Al-Shorta donning new pink jerseys and grey shorts instead of their traditional white and red stripes. Though it is the kit to be worn when playing against a home team that is wearing white, it is a new colour for Zamalek and it brought with it criticism and jokes.
The past few days saw talk shows either mocking or lashing the colours of the new ensemble. Facebook and Twitter said that when Zamalek wins the league, they should be awarded teddy bears and Barbie dolls instead of the trophy.
Club officials were not amused, reacted angrily at those who poked fun at the team. TV presenter Amr Adib explained that the media did not mean to make fun of the team, but that some media people are Zamalek fans who were a bit embarrassed to see the historic club appearing in such colours.
The other highlight of the week was Ahli club raising the salary of its head coach Hossam Al-Badri to LE1.8 million a year, a figure which is believed to have made Al-Badri the highest paid national coach in Egypt this season. Al-Badri led the team to the African Champions League and a fourth place finish at the FIFA Clubs Championship in Japan. But making the news of his salary increase public has also brought criticism from some who saw it as improper in light of Egypt’s financial crunch.
Other than that, the competition went smoothly as the second half kicked off and matches were played one after the other in a clean incident-free atmosphere after being postponed for one year due to security concerns. Defending champions Ahli saved blushes against Wadi Degla with a sole rare goal scored by defender Wa’el Gomaa to give his team a precious 1-0 win that took Ahli to the top spot to co-lead its group with Haras Al-Hedoud which also scored its second win, against Semouha. Both teams have six points each with Haras Al-Hedoud having the goal advantage.
The second win for Zamalek this year revived its hopes of winning the national league for the first time since 2004. Zamalek beat Al-Shorta 3-2 to lead Group B with six points. For everyone watching, the traditional runners-up of the league competition appear more disciplined this year and is enjoying high morale coupled with a tough fighting spirit.
In other matches, Dakhlia and Military Production played to a goalless draw. Dakhlia now has four points in its tally while Military Production claimed its first point this season. Petrojet made its first appearance this season with a 2-0 victory over the Arab Contractors. The schedule had prevented the petroleum team from playing in the first week of the competition. It was the Arab Contractor’s second defeat in the league, the first being to Dakhlia.

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