Controversial Zamalek chief proclaims his club as ‘African club of the century’

By Abdelaziz Abuhamar

May 29 – Zamalek’s controversial president Murtada Mansour has proclaimed his club as ‘African club of the century’, 20 years after Al-Ahly were officially given the moniker by African governing body CAF. 

People in the Cairo outskirt of Giza were surprised to see a billboard displayed on the club’s premises proclaiming it “the Real African club of the century” along with both Zamalek and CAF official Logos.

A source inside CAF told Insideworldfootball that the club had not cleared use of the CAF logo.

The billboard sparked social media comment as Al Ahly fans derided the  Zamalek billboard that went up the same day that CAF commemorated the anniversary of the award on their official Twitter account saying: “Today marks 20 years since Al Ahly was crowned club of the century. Happy anniversary,”

Ahly, who celebrated the occasion a day earlier, did not comment on Zamalek’s counterstrike.

The war of words between the two clubs has been non-stop. From the day Zamalek launched their new TV channel, almost two months ago, they been critical of Al Ahly, accusing them of skulduggery in the way they claim their titles, not only the Award of the African Club of the Century, but also theor local and continental titles.

Al-Ahly was crowned as the African Club of the Century via a points calculation even though the club had ended the century with two continental titles fewer than Zamalek, ironically at a time when Murtada Mansour was the club’s Vice Chairman.

Twenty years later, Zamalek now say they will go to FIFA and CAS to reverse the CAF decision and proclaim them the African Club of the Century Award.

Zamalek’s president earlier criticised FIFA General Secretary Fatma Samoura and CAF chief Ahmad Ahmad, but managed to escape punishment thanks to what is believed to have been an intervention by Egyptian FIFA council member Hany Abu Rida.

The Club of the Century saga will only further fuel the extreme animosity between the die-hard fans of Al-Ahly and their Zamalek counterparts.

Contact the writer of this story, Abdelaziz Abuhamar, at moc.l1594070582labto1594070582ofdlr1594070582owedi1594070582sni@o1594070582fni1594070582