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Sporting condemn Shikabala’s representative claims
Shikabala has not been included in any of Sporting Lisbon’s squads since the friendly with Ittihad Alexandria early in August, when he was forced to stay in Egypt for a few more days because he didn’t have his military paperwork done prior and therefore, could not leave Egypt.
Sporting have launched an internal inquiry on the matter, with Shikabala continuing to train with the side, but without being called to games.
On Wednesday his representative in Portugal, Paulo Faria, gave an interview to Rádio Renascença on the matter and had very strong words to say about Shikabala.
“What happened is that he didn’t ask for the [military] paper and knew that he would stay in Egypt another two or three days on holiday. In those days, he didn’t pick up his employer’s phone calls and you don’t do that. He provoked everything and he knows he provoked it,” said Faria.
“He spent a year and a half without competing, comes to Sporting with ‘the train moving’ and he couldn’t catch that train. Then, he makes all the crap he’s been making. That is making fun of the people that work with him and with the people at the club.”
During the last day of the transfer window, Shikabala was expected to be loaned to another club in order to get game time, but a move didn’t happen.
“We had an offer from Greece for Shika to leave, we had an agreement with the club in Greece, we reached an agreement with Sporting, it was a one year loan for him to play. What happened is that an hour before the transfer window closed, he turned his phone off and his agent said he has no interest in going anywhere, that he wants to stay at Sporting,” explained the representative.
Paulo Faria also said that a loan to his former club, Zamalek is likely, but that “it’s not going to be easy” and that the player’s intentions would be to “go back to Egypt or go to Arabia.”
Sporting was praised by Faria, thanking president Bruno de Carvalho and sporting director Augusto Inácio who “provided everything for Shika to shine”, that “Sporting always had a correct behaviour” and that “Sporting has already forgiven Shikabala for many things.”
The following day, Sporting released a statement on their official website, condemning Faria’s declarations and defending Shikabala, stating that he has “up to now, obliged to his obligations towards the club professionally.”
Sporting also mention that the issue regarding his visa in Egypt is being investigated and hopes that Faria’s statements were not “attempts to destabilize the athlete which prompt him to take any action that distorts his behaviour towards Sporting or in order to force him out of the club, creating favourable conditions for the supposed representative in an eventual deal involving the player.”
Shikabala was called up to the Egypt squad which will face Senegal on Friday. Sporting’s next game is on the 14th, versus Belenenses.