Friday,15 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1272, (26 November - 2 December 2015)
Friday,15 December, 2017
Issue 1272, (26 November - 2 December 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Sudden exit

Zamalek’s coach Jesualdo Ferreira unexpectedly quits the club, reports Marawan Zayed

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Al-Ahram Weekly

It might seem surprising to some people to see Portuguese Jesualdo Ferreira suddenly leave Zamalek, the current Egyptian football league and cup champions but it could seem very normal to many others given the strained relationship he had with the club’s president Mortada Mansour for the past several months.

Ferreira had numerous problems with Mansour; winning the local double didn’t help in ending the rows. However, the surprise here comes in the manner in which Ferreira quit. It was announced he was not returning to the club after the international break because he said he could never work for a club whose president didn’t want him.

Ferreira explained his reasons to the club’s fans and players in an emotional letter. “Dear Zamalek fans, this is an extremely sad day for me as I announce that I won’t be returning to the club. As you all know, for many months now the club’s president has been fighting to push me out of the club as he interfered in my job several times and finally decided to stop paying my salary alongside my staff and didn’t event give us the bonuses for winning the league and cup.

“I sent a warning to the board last week asking them to either pay me my delayed salary or else I’ll leave the club after one week. They didn’t even bother to reply which confirmed the intention of the president to push me out.

“I rejected several offers recently because I loved the club and wanted to win more trophies with them after winning the league and cup and even now after four weeks of the new season I’m leaving the club ahead of our fierce rivals Ahly.

“I would like to thank the fans as they were the main reason behind our success in the past year and I would like to thank everyone who worked with me since I arrived at the club. And finally I would like to thank the players who are family to me and I’ve let them know that they were the real champions last year, not me. I’ve had a very strong bond with the players and fans but unfortunately it’s impossible to stay at the club when the president is doing everything to push you out and even talks bad about you in public.

“I’ll miss you all. Long live Zamalek.”

Ferreira’s letter shows that the only reason he is leaving the club is Mansour which is not surprising as they clashed time and time again over the last few months despite beating Ahly for both the league and cup.

Mansour on the other hand said that Ferreira was “talking nonsense” and that he was coming up with an imaginary story to leave the club. Mansour said he did not talk to Ferreira or criticise him any time recently and doubted that Ferreira was really leaving because of him. He asked that if that was the real reason, why didn’t he leave when he was criticising him strongly a couple of months ago.

Mansour said that the club was even paying for Ferreira’s “alcoholic drinks” on a daily basis which is against the club’s policy.

Most of the club’s fans and players are extremely disappointed to see the popular Portuguese leave the club after guiding them to huge success last season. It remains to be seen if the club will go for an Egyptian coach this time. Some reports linked former Egypt coach and Zamalek superstar Hassan Shehata with the vacancy. Whoever comes in will have a task tougher than retaining the league title: having a good relationship with Mansour given that Ferreira and those before him failed in the endeavour.

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