Zamalek’s charismatic president 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 muti or “magic” in the goal of keeper Ahmed El-Shenawy.
Mansour‚ known for his outlandish statements‚ told a press conference in Cairo that Sundowns had defeated his side using non-footballing 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 with before with the 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 Abdel-Fattah 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. – TMG Digital