Friday,21 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1280, (28 January - 3 February 2016)
Friday,21 September, 2018
Issue 1280, (28 January - 3 February 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Board game

Members of the Ahly Club board did a surprising U-turn after refusing to be appointed in a stopgap measure by the minister of youth and sports, Inas Mazhar reports

Al-Ahram Weekly

Ahly Club is still in chaos. On Sunday, the Court of Cassation, for the second time, rejected an appeal by the board of directors of Ahly Club to cancel elections and dissolve the board following administrative irregularities in the voting in March 2014.

The rejection meant Minister of Youth and Sports Khaled Abdel-Aziz had no alternative but to appoint a new board until new elections take place. Abdel-Aziz, however, appointed the same board of directors for one year during which the club would prepare for new elections.

The board unanimously agreed but in a sudden turnaround, a day later, they unanimously rejected the appointment, arguing that the irregularities in the elections were not their fault and that they were an elected board and therefore could not be appointed.

The scene in Ahly now is one of utter confusion. Abdel-Aziz told TV sports presenter Ahmed Shobeir on Monday night that he will respect the court’s ruling and will appoint a board to run the club, especially since the club needs to pay the salaries of those working in it. “So there should be a board,” Abdel-Aziz said. He added that when he appointed the same board, the decision showed that he respected the general assembly which had elected them. But Ahly argue that the minister gives Ahly’s executive manager the authority to run the club, something which the minister said was illegal. Abdel-Aziz also explained that he can appoint a temporary board of only six members, not all 12.

Members of the Ahly board agreed late Monday night to reject the appointment and that they would rather wait until 28 February until the Supreme Administrative Court rules on their case.

Abdel-Aziz apparently had such a scenario in mind even before the court ruling. He had earlier told Al-Ahram Weekly that he had two options. “If the court accepts the appeal, then there will be no problem and the Ahly board would remain in place, and that would be a relief. But if the court rejects the appeal, then I would have to appoint a new board. In this case, I would appoint the same people who were elected by the club’s general assembly in March 2014 because it was their choice and I respect the choice of the general assembly.

“I had made my intentions clear to the board of directors and asked them verbally if they would like to continue as appointed members and they all accepted. But, I made it clear that if any board member had no desire to continue, then he should submit a formal apology to the ministry in order to be on the safe side. It would be his own choice so then I can appoint another member without been accused by anyone of interfering in sacking anyone and appointing another,” Abdel-Aziz said.

When Abdel-Aziz asked them for a formal apology that they would not be able to continue, they said they would not submit one because it was their right to stay on.

The Ahly board had wanted to start working on all pending files that had been frozen. The court ruling had banned them from taking any decisions or using club funds which had been blocked in banks. The club was banned from either depositing or withdrawing money.

The most important decision is appointing a new manager for the football team to replace the Portuguese Paseiro who left the club without warning two weeks ago. The club appointed football director Abdel-Aziz Abdel-Shafei as a temporary replacement. Former Ahly coaches Manuel Jose, also from Portugal, and Hossam Al-Badri remain the favourites for the job.

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