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Leisure - Sports

Amwal Al Ghad English - 2015-10-07 08:32:59
Ahly's caretaker coach Abdel-Aziz "Zizo" Abdel-Shafy says the temporary technical staff will be facing a difficult mission in the Super Cup match against rivals and Egyptian champions Zamalek. On Monday night, Ahly appointed Zizo, one of the club icons, as a temporary coach after sacking Fathi Mabrouk following the team’s recent poor results. "The Super Cup mission is difficult but not impossible," Zizo said Tuesday during his unveiling press conference held at the club's headquarters. "We don't have enough time to prepare for the match, and we are also missing some player who are currently in national duty," he added. The chief of Ahly's youth sector, Zizo will be in charge of Ahly until the derby match against archrivals Zamalek in the Super Cup. The match will be played on 15 October in the United Arab Emirates. "Ahly players have the sufficient experience to quickly overcome the current difficult situation," Zizo said. "Sometimes big football teams face hard times, but they recover rapidly. Ahly's history says the team will return to glory soon," the 62-year-old tactician added. Former coach Mabrouk, who succeeded Juan Carlos Garrido last May after the Spanish boss was sacked, has come under fire following Ahly's exit from the Confederation Cup semis. The Reds slumped to a stunning 4-3 home defeat by South Africa's Orlando Pirates on Sunday to wave goodbye to the competition they won last season with a 5-3 aggregate defeat. Under Mabrouk, Ahly failed to win a major trophy for the first time since 2004. They lost both the Egyptian Premier League and the Egypt Cup to archrivals Zamalek this season. Manuel Jose, the strongest candidate Local reports said on Monday that veteran coaches Jose Vitor dos Santos Peseiro, Georges Leekens, Thomas Schaaf and Marcos Bakita are all in the running for the vacant Ahly job, but no deal is in place yet. Veteran Portuguese coach Manuel Jose Da Silva, who previously guided Ahly to various trophies, also emerged as a prominent candidate. "Leekens, Bakita and Schaaf are among the candidates, but Peseiro is out of the race," explained Zizo. "Frankly, Manuel Jose is the best and strongest candidate especially for his achievements and popularity among the fans," the coach concluded. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2015-10-06 08:12:52
Al Ahly have sacked coach Fathi Mabrouk, after the Egyptian giants failed to win a major trophy for the first time since 2003-2004 season. Director of football Alaa Abdel-Salek was also dismissed following a board meeting on Monday. Former player Abdel Aziz Abdel Shafi - known as Zizo - has been drafted in as caretaker for the second time. He previously took over when Hossam Al Badry was sacked in 2010 but is likely only to be a stand-in. The trigger was defeat for the eight-time African champions in the Confederation Cup semi-finals by Orlando Pirates of South Africa. Pirates came back from two goals down to win the second leg of the tie 4-3 in Egypt. Ahly also suffered defeats to their arch-rivals Zamalek in the race for the league title and the Egyptian Cup this season. Mabrouk had only been in charge at Ahly since May, when he replaced Juan Carlos Garrido. Last season the club won the Egyptian league and the Confederation Cup but they failed to make it to the group stage of this year's Champions League. They also went on to win the local Super Cup with a win on penalties over Egyptian Cup winners Zamalek in November 2014. The new coach will have the chance of retaining that trophy almost immediately, with the 2015 contest set for 15 October at Al Ain's stadium in the United Arab Emirates. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2015-10-04 09:49:37
Egypt coach Hector Cuper believes that the return of fans to the stands is a must for Egyptian football. "Fans must return to attend matches. It is impossible to see football games without supporters," the Argentinean manager said in a TV interview with CBC satellite channel late Friday. Football spectators were banned in Egypt since February 2012 when 72 Ahly fans died in the Port Said Stadium disaster. In February this year the ban was lifted but immediately reimposed after 20 Zamalek fans died in a stampede at the Cairo Air Defence Stadium. Cairo giants Zamalek, the current league and cup champions, and archrivals Ahly have repeatedly asked Egyptian authorities in recent months to allow fans to return. Their requests have been rejected amid fears of fresh fatal incidents. "We all know the reasons behind fans' absence, but they must return," said the 59-year-old tactician, Cuper, who took charge of the Pharaohs in March on a three-year deal. "Fans' effect is always a positive one. They always motivate you to achieve your goals. I hope they will be available in Egypt's coming matches," he concluded. Earlier in September, Egyptian Minister of Sports Khaled Abdel-Aziz said the country would allow fans to attend any home match involving the national team in the qualifying campaigns for the 2017 African Cup of Nations and 2018 World Cup. The minister's declaration is yet to be applied. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2015-10-03 07:42:31
Major soccer sponsors on Friday issued coordinated calls for the immediate resignation of FIFA president Sepp Blatter in the most significant move by companies supporting the sport since a bribery and corruption scandal erupted at world football's governing body last May. Coca-Cola Co (KO.N) , McDonald's (MCD.N), Visa (V.N), and Budweiser owner Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR), companies that have long linked their brand names to soccer, on Friday demanded Blatter step down immediately in a strong push for change at the organization. Blatter earlier announced he would resign in February next year. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2015-10-01 12:37:09
Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris said Wednesday returning fans to football stadiums is vital, after finalising a deal to purchase the Egyptian Premier League TV rights. Presentation Advertising Agency, official sponsor of the Egyptian Football Association announced on Tuesday the sale of the new season's broadcasting rights to Sawiris. Sawiris has already sold the rights on to Egyptian satellite channels TEN and Al-Hayat. "The absence of football fans is a failure for Egypt and the interior and youth ministries," the 61-year-old businessman said in a press conference. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2015-09-29 08:41:54
World number three Maria Sharapova retired with an arm injury in her comeback match at the Wuhan Open in China. The 28-year-old Russian, returning from a leg problem, led Czech Barbora Strycova 7-6 (7-1) 6-7 (4-7) 2-1. It was Sharapova's first match since she lost to Serena Williams in the Wimbledon semi-finals in July. "I got pain in my left forearm. It just got worse and worse as I continued," said Sharapova. "I just don't think it's smart to continue trying to run around the court and trying to hit forehands from the backhand side and compensate other things. "I haven't played a match in many months. I guess this is the consequence of that. I just have to work on getting it better." The five-time Grand Slam champion was returning from the leg injury which forced her to miss the American hard-court season and the US Open. She is scheduled to play in Beijing next week, but has made next month's WTA Finals in Singapore and Russia's Fed Cup final against the Czech Republic in November her major targets for the rest of the year. "Singapore and the Fed Cup is a big priority," she said. "I'll do everything in order to be healthy for that. "I don't know how long it will take for this to recover so I can't really give a definite answer about next week." More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2015-09-28 08:29:15
Since the explosive indictments and arrests of international soccer officials in May, FIFA President Sepp Blatter -- previously a prolific traveler -- had only once left his home base of Switzerland. In the end, he wasn’t even safe in his own office. On Friday morning, staff from the Swiss Attorney General’s Office (OAG) arrived at FIFA’s headquarters building high in the hills above Zurich. According to a person with knowledge of Friday’s events, the team of around 15 officials, including prosecutors and Swiss police, arrived to search Blatter’s office while he was attending a meeting of FIFA’s ruling executive committee. The officials seized unspecified data, the OAG said. The prosecutors waited until the meeting had ended before approaching the 79-year-old FIFA boss and taking him quietly to a conference room near his office, where they told him he was under a criminal probe and interviewed him for several hours. Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber was not present and a senior deputy led the questioning, the source said. Although Blatter was not expecting the raid, some within FIFA had been told something was coming, a FIFA source said. While a group of around 150 reporters was told that a scheduled news conference from Blatter had been canceled, Lauber’s office was preparing a statement. That came in the form of a press release from the OAG announcing that they had opened “criminal proceedings” against Blatter on “suspicion of criminal mismanagement as well as – alternatively – on suspicion of misappropriation”. The raid marked a new chapter in the FIFA scandal that began in May when 14 soccer officials and sports marketing executives were indicted in the United States on bribery, money laundering and wire fraud charges. A Swiss national who has run soccer's powerful governing body for the past 17 years, Blatter has now for the first time become the focus of a criminal investigation. Blatter, who announced in June he would step down next February, has denied wrongdoing and his U.S. attorney said he was cooperating with the Swiss probe. He has not been charged with a crime in Switzerland and is not facing charges in the United States. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2015-09-21 12:18:00
Al Ahly and Zamalek have revealed their line-ups ahead of the Monday night finale. In the few weeks leading up to the Egyptian Cup final, both teams have had to shake up their squads due to players returning from and succumbing to injuries. Zamalek will welcome the return of Ayman Hefny and leading scorer Bassem Morsi, but the White Castle will be without the services of Ibrahim Salah and Mohamed Ibrahim. Al Ahly are welcoming the return of Ghanaian international John Antwi, who has been nursing an ankle injury the past few weeks. The Red Devils were forced to alter their line-up after midfielder Hossam Ghaly fell to an injury last week. Al Ahly holds 35 titles in the tournament, leading the White Castle’s 21 titles. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2015-09-13 08:29:58
Flavia Pennetta won her first grand slam singles title over Roberta Vinci in an improbable all-Italian U.S. Open final on Saturday then added one more shock to a stunning fortnight by announcing her retirement. With the 7-6(4) 6-2 win, the 33-year-old Pennetta becomes the fourth oldest grand slam winner in the Open Era and joins 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone as the only Italian women to win a major singles title. But as the celebrations kicked into high gear, Pennetta dropped a bombshell that provided a dramatic finish to the year's final grand slam and her career. After embracing childhood friend and Fed Cup team mate Vinci at the net a smiling Pennetta stood at center court during the trophy presentation and told a capacity crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium that included Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi that she would retire. "This is the way I would like to say goodbye to tennis," she said before hoisting the trophy and accepting the $3.3 million winner's check. "I'm really happy. It's what all the players seem to want to do, to go out with this big trophy. "And so this one was my last match at the U.S. Open and I couldn't think to finish a better way." Pennetta's surprise announcement provided a jaw-dropping finish to a grand slam packed with surprises. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2015-09-10 07:45:22
Egypt will allow fans to attend any match involving the national team, the sports minister said on Wednesday, signaling a possible gradual easing of restrictions on fan attendance after a crowd ban was imposed following a football tragedy in February. Khaled Abdel-Aziz told reporters Egypt will enjoy the backing of their fans when they play home matches in the qualifying campaigns for the 2017 African Cup of Nations and 2018 World Cup. The Pharaohs had to do without their supporters when they crushed Tanzania 3-0 in Alexandria in their opening Group G game of the Nations Cup qualifiers in June. "Fan support is crucial to Egypt's chances in the Nations Cup and World Cup. The authorities are aware of the importance of having the fans back in the stands," Abdel-Aziz added. More»