Zamalek’s under fire coach Nebojsa Jovovic will remain in his post despite claims he resigned, while club management will consider replacements for the Montenegrin coach, according to club president Mortada Mansour on Saturday.
“Jovovic is remaining in his post. He will lead Saturday’s training session amid preparations for Wednesday’s league match against Ittihad of Alexandria,” Zamalek’s board member and football supervisor Ismail Youssef told reporters late Friday.
Mansour announced on Thursday that Jovovic had resigned from his post, a few minutes after the Cairo giants lost to Ismaily 1-0 in an Egyptian league game.
The resignation news was paired with rumours that the coach was refusing to leave without receiving the release clause in his contract.
After a meeting with Zamalek board Friday night, Mortada said the future of Jovovic will be determined by Youssef.
“Now I don’t intervene in football matters. Youssef is not satisfied with the coach’s performance … and that gives us the right to search for a new coach,” the president explained after the meeting.
“Hassan Shehata (the club former star) will be insulted by fans if he took charge now, and also Tarek Mostafa (a former Zamalek player) had a coaching chance at the club before, so the foreign coach will be the better choice for all,” added Mansour.
Jovovic’s future at Zamalek became uncertain recently after the team’s shaky start to the season left them fourth in the domestic league table with 19 points from 12 games.
The 42-year-old Jovovic signed a two-year contract with Zamalek on 28 August, but he faced a difficult start as the team won five matches only, drawing four times and losing the three remaining matches.
The Whites were dealt a heavy 3-1 loss to rivals Maqassa before holding to a 1-1 draw against Rajaa in the last two league matches before Thursday’s defeat to Ismaily.
“There is no doubt that Zamalek’s recent results are not good and Jovovic is the one who is responsible,” Zamalek’s chief of the technical committee, Farouq Gaafar, told press.
“I refuse the coach’s departure at the time being. He must remain in his post until we find a better and beneficial replacement,” he added.
Ahead of Nebojsa’s appointment, Zamalek have had 15 coaches since the election of current club president Mansour in 2014, including Mido, Hossam Hassan, Portuguese Jesualdo Ferreira and Scotsman Alex McLeish.