Al Ahly president Mahmoud El Khatib has revealed that South African coach Pitso Mosimane could have quit the club due to a campaign against him.
Mosimane left the Egyptian giants in June after two years in Cairo where he won five trophies - two Caf Champions League and as many Caf Super Cups as well as the Egyptian Cup.
However, after failing to lift a third straight continental title following Al Ahly’s 2-0 loss to Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca two months ago, the tactician quit just days later.
A section of the Red Devils fans had started questioning Mosimane’s tactics after the loss and El Khatib has now revealed that ‘Jingles’ had complained of being ‘tired’ physically and psychologically, opting to leave even as the club wanted him to stay.
“He was in Morocco attending a training programme, and we spoke to him and asked him to explain to us the support he needs for the league,” El Khatib told Al Ahly TV as quoted by Kingfut.
“But we were completely blindsided when he told us that he was, physically and psychologically, unable to continue as the team’s head coach.
“We gave him 24 hours to think about his decision and after that period he decided to part ways with us in the end.
“By numbers and achievements, Mosimane made history in this club that nobody can deny it, but who was leading the campaign that was directed against him?”
Mosimane joined Al Ahly after eight hugely successful years with Mamelodi Sundowns which yielded five PSL titles, including three in a row (2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20), Caf Champions League, Caf Super Cup, and two Nedbank Cups as well as the same number of Telkom Knockout crowns.
Al Ahly have not fared well since the departure of the South African who was replaced by Portuguese Ricardo Soares.
The Cairo giants have won just four games, drawing two and losing as many across all competitions but the club hierarchy is not panicking.
“We have taken the decision to play with the youth and those returning from injury for the rest of the season to give the senior players a rest instead of playing for a fourth consecutive year without any breaks,” El-Khatib added.
“The coach is afraid of the outcome of playing with a young squad, but we will not hold him accountable for the results and the upcoming games will be treated as pre-season.
“There will be big signings and strong additions for Al Ahly after this season and this does not affect the current players, but they need to get rest.”