Zamalek player Tarek Hamed (front )fights for the ball with USM Alger player during the 2017 CAF Champions League game between USM Alger and Zamalek at Stade 5 Juillet 1962 in Algiers, Algeria on 21 June 2017 © BackpagePix
Monday May 14, 2018. 13:11
Ahead of Tuesday’s Egypt Cup final, Zamalek and Smouha bosses have engaged in a messy war of words.
The chairmen of both clubs were embroiled in a war of words after the latter club had threatened to withdraw from Tuesday's Egypt Cup final in protest against the assignment of an Egyptian referee for the game.
Farag Amer, a businessman and Smouha’s boss launched a scathing attack on the Egyptian Football Association (EFA).
The EFA turned down his request to assign the match to a foreign referee, saying the EFA had initially accepted his demand to select a foreign referee.
"I had already sent the money to the EFA to bring a foreign official but they changed their mind at the end for no reason," he is quoted by AhramOnline.
On the other hand, the White Knights’ president Mortada Mansour hit back at Amer in a typically fiery manner.
He accused him of trying to intimidate Egyptian referees before the highly anticipated match between the two outfits.
"You are trying to terrorise any referee who would be in charge of the match. Where were you when Smouha beat Zamalek 3-0 in the Egyptian league (last October) under an Egyptian referee?" he said on his official Facebook page.
Although Amer and Mansour were on good terms, with both being members of the Egyptian parliament, the latest row looks likely to escalate.
The Smouha chairman also insisted his side will not show up for the cup final, which will take place at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab Stadium, unless the EFA brings in a foreign referee.
Smouha are eyeing their first-ever trophy while Zamalek are seeking to win the secondary domestic competition for the fifth time in the last six editions.
Moreover, the 2016 CAF Champions League finalists are set to finish their season with silverware after a disappointing campaign as they finished fourth in the EPL.