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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 June, 2003, 10:21 GMT 11:21 UK
The troubles of Zamalek
By Amr Shaheen
BBC Sport, Cairo

Striker Hossam Hassan
Hassan had a battle with Cabral

Sunday's Champions League match against Simba was supposed to have put Zamalek's fans in a mood to celebrate their domestic championship triumph.

40,000 supporters trooped to the stadium to participate in planned festivities and to demand that Brazilian coach Carlos Roberto Cabral have a change of heart over his decision not to renew his contract.

But the shock home defeat to the Tanzanian champions threw a spanner in the works.

After the match ended, irate fans attacked the players and pelted the team bus with stones.

15 supporters who were said to have begun the unrest were arrested by the police.

It was a sad end to Cabral's phenomenally successful stint in Egyptian football.

The Brazilian won four titles for the club since his arrival last July and turned down offers to manage archrivals Ahly and the Egyptian national team.

Carlos Roberto Cabral (far right)
Cabral is on his way to Qatar

But Cabral's performance did not insulate him from conflict with Zamalek's management.

He complained about a lack of support from the club's officials in his raging battle with veteran striker Hossam Hassan.

Cabral also claimed that Zamalek owed him $30,000 in back salary, which they refused to pay.

According to him, this unresolved dispute was a key factor in his decision not to extend his stay with the club.

Cabral is reportedly on his way to Qatari club Al Ittihad.

After suffering elimination from the FA Cup at the hands of relegated second division side Goldi, recent setbacks have only increased the intense pressure on Zamalek officials to reverse its flagging fortunes.

They have reportedly sent an official delegation to Portugal to negotiate with former Al Ahly manager Manuel Jose to lead the team through the group stage of the Champions League and the new Egyptian season.


SEE ALSO
Capral quits Zamalek
29 May 03  |  African

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