Ahly Sporting Club announced on Friday that its chairman Mahmoud El-Khatib will sit down with manager Martin Lasarte and some of the players on Saturday to discuss the latest disappointing results as fans vented their anger over the unthinkable prospect of their team finishing the season empty-handed.
The Red Devils lost to Pyramids FC 1-0 on Thursday to allow arch-rivals Zamalek to overtake them on top of the Egyptian Premier League table with a two-point lead in a sea-saw campaign, one of the most exciting for years.
The loss was the all the bitter given Ahly’s frosty relationship with Pyramids owner Turki Al-Sheikh, a Saudi official who was the Cairo giants’ honorary president little less than a year ago, only to step down last summer after disagreements over the club’s transfer policy.
The defeat is also Ahly’s second against the big-spending Pyramids, who beat them 2-1 in January to spoil Lasarte’s debut.
The Uruguayan boss’ job is on the line after Ahly also exited the African Champions League in embarrassing fashion, suffering a 5-1 aggregate loss to South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns in the quarter-final.
But Ahly still have two domestic titles to fight for, as they face Pyramids in the quarter-finals of the Egypt Cup.
“[Chairman] El-Khatib will sit down with Lasarte and the players to discuss the team’s recent results,” Ahly said in a statement on their official website.
“[He] will stress on the necessity of exerting all efforts to win the league and please Ahly’s supporters.”
In a move widely lauded by pundits, Ahly’s passionate supporters cheered for their players following the end of the home game against Sundowns, although their team could only claim a narrow 1-0 win to bow out of the Champions League.
They urged them to win a fourth successive league title but that support was nowhere to be seen towards the end of the game against Pyramids, with the fans chanting against the players.
“They [the players] need to realize that they are representing a team whose philosophy does not include the word ‘losing’,” one of the fans wrote on Twitter.