French coach Michel quits Zamalek
Sun, 5 Aug 2007 - 14:19
By: Mohamed Sabe
Michels announcement came as a surprise to Zamaleks officials
Frenchman Henri Michel made a surprise announcement on Sunday morning stating that he is quitting his job as Zamalek’s coach, the Egyptian club said.
Michel, who signed a two year contract extension with the Cairo based club in April, made the announcement to his players in the morning session of training in France where the team is preparing for the new season.
“I was surprised to hear that Michel got together with the players on Sunday morning and informed them of his decision to quit the team,” Zamalek spokesman Khaled Gabr told FilGoal.com.
“He even handed in his resignation to player personnel administrator Ahmed Abdullah,” added Gabr.
Michel did not state a reason for his sudden decision to leave Zamalek but FilGoal.com has learned that the former Ivory Coast manager has received an offer to coach Morocco in the upcoming African Cup of Nations finals that will take place in Ghana in January 2008.
“We don’t know the reasons behind his (Michel’s) decision,” said Gabr. “We don’t even know if the decision is final or if he would be willing to reconsider.”
Michel’s announcement comes as a strong blow to the already unstable club that has gone three years without any major trophy.
Media reports have claimed that the former France manager was unhappy with Zamalek’s board deciding to keep veteran trio Hazem Emam, Tarek Al-Sayed and Abdul-Halim Ali, with the team despite his request to offload them during the close season.
“We yet have to see if Michel will return with the team to Cairo today or not and things should become clear when the delegation arrives and we talk to Ahmed Abdullah,” added the Zamalek official.
Zamalek kick-off their 2007-2008 league campaign with a strong clash against Ismaili next week.
Michel took over as Zamalek coach in January and helped the team finish second in the league and reach the Egyptian Cup final where they lost to arch-rivals Ahli 4-3 after extra time.