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Al Hilal accuses Zamalek of racism

Zamalek-Al Hilal

Sudanese side Al Hilal are set to file a complaint to CAF following alleged racist chants during last Saturday’s Champions League group stage clash with Zamalek.

Shehab Magharba, the media coordinator of Al Hilal of Sudan, said that his club will file a complaint to CAF in response to racist chants against their South Sudanese goalkeeper Jumma Ginaro.

The goalkeeper was reportedly abused by photographers, who were behind his net during their game against Zamalek, and quarrelled with them during the CAF Champions League fixture last Saturday.

Ginaro told Sudanese online news outlet ‘Kafar wa Water’: “A photographer behind me offended me on the base of my skin colour and it was too much to take.”

“It is embarrassing that I lost my temper like that and I am really sad about that, yet I couldn’t stand there and keep calm in face of all the abuse and the obnoxious racism.”

Mawlana Al-Tayeb Al-Abbasy, vice secretary general of Hilal, also said that they will take this issue to FIFA for the racial abuse that Ginaro was subjected to.

No official decision or statement has came out of CAF or FIFA concerning this case thus far.

The first response at Zamalek’s end was by board member Ahmed Mortada Mansour, the club president’s son, who denied the accusations: “We refuse these claims, we are absolutely innocent. Egyptians in general and ‘Zamalek sons’ in particular hate racism and there is no way that we could have done that.”

“In all our history we have dealt with the Sudanese people as we are one, we too have dark-skinned players and there is no difference between us,” he added.

Following the accusations, Zamalek’s official Twitter account tweeted a picture with the slogan ‘Egypt and Sudan One Nation’ in both Arabic and English.

Racism is rare in Egyptian football, but one notable incident goes back to September 2007 in the 100th Cairo Derby, when Al Ahly won 1-0 against Zamalek by a trademark Abou-Treika goal.

After the game, a Zamalek spokesman and some journalists from the official club’s magazine claimed that Ultras Ahlway made racist chants against current Sporting Lisbon playmaker Shikabala, which was denied by both the team’s players and fans.

My eyes twinkle only when I speak football.

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