In a stunning development, Zamalek SC manager Patrice Carteron has been named as the new manager of Saudi Professional League side Al Taaawon.
Carteron is said to have contacted president Mortada Mansour on Monday 14 September where he confirmed that he would activate his own contract termination clause after receiving a lucrative offer from the Saudi side.
The former TP Mazembe, Raja and Ahly coach is believed to have paid his $250,000 release in full.
The two-time CAF Champions League-winning coach was earning $120,000 a month with the White Knights and is believed to have attracted interest from a host of clubs in the Gulf region.
Carteron was appointed as Zamalek head coach last December, succeeding Serbian coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic. He took charge of the club in 31 games, winning 19 while losing only three.
Only in June, Carteron had signed a one-year contract extension after lifting the CAF Super Cup as well as the Egyptian Super Cup in February despite an indifferent showing in the Egyptian Premier League.
Zamalek currently sits in second place in the Egyptian Premier League, with 55 points, 17 points behind leaders Ahly who need two points from the remaining seven games to clinch a fifth successive league title and the 42nd in club history. Zamalek are also in the quarter-finals of the Egypt Cup, where they will face Smouha.
50-year-old Carteron also led Zamalek to the CAF Champions League semi-finals after eliminating Esperance Sportive de Tunis 3-2 on aggregate.
With a massive CAF Champions League semi-final against Raja Casablanca looming, the Frenchman’s departure has rocked the Egyptian Premier League giants board and fanbase.
Carteron faces a tough task at Al Taawon, who finished 12th on the Saudi Professional League table last season.
The 50-year-old replaces Portuguese manager, Pedro Emanuel, who had led Al Taawon to Saudi Cup triumph in 2019.
Al Taawon are taking part in the AFC Champions League, leading Group C which comprises Al-Duhail, Sharjah, and Perspolis.
Their next game will be against Perspolis on Friday 18 September in the fourth round of the competition’s group stage.
Speculation is rife over who will succeed Carteron with a list of stellar names being linked to one of the hottest seats on the African coaching landscape. Reports say Tarek Yehia is set to be named as interim head coach while volatile club president Mortada Mansour searches for his third managerial appointment this season.
EU Sanctions Three Firms Over Libya Arms Embargo Violation
The European Union has slammed three foreign firms and two individuals with sanction for violating the UN arms embargo on Libya.
The three companies are from Turkey, Kazakhstan and Jordan respectively.
A meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels resolved that the sanctions imposed include an asset freeze for the three companies.
Two individuals were also sanctioned for human rights abuses in Libya, a statement by the EU said.
The United Nations in a report in September accused Russia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other countries of violating the international arms embargo on Libya, a country in war since its leader, Col Muammar Gaddafi, was deposed in 2011 by Nato-backed forces.
The UAE and Russia back renegade Gen Khalifa Haftar in the east while the Turkish government supports his rivals in the government based in Tripoli.
The statement reads: “The Council today decided to impose targeted restrictive measures on two persons responsible for human rights abuses in Libya and three entities involved in violating the UN arms embargo in place for Libya.
“They will be added to the EU’s list of persons and entities subject to restrictive measures related to the Libyan conflict.
“The sanctions imposed comprise a travel ban and an asset freeze for natural persons, and an asset freeze for entities.
” In addition, EU persons and entities are forbidden from making funds available to those listed. With these new designations, the EU now has travel bans on 17 listed persons and has frozen the assets of 21 persons and 19 entities.”
The EU imposes restrictive measures on persons and entities whose actions threaten the peace and security of Libya or obstruct the successful completion of its political transition.
The EU has repeatedly called on all parties to respect human rights and international law and is committed to holding anyone violating them accountable.
The EU is also determined to see the UN arms embargo in Libya fully respected.
The UN has imposed a travel ban on 28 persons and an asset freeze on 23 persons.
Sudanese Delegation in UAE for Talks with Emirati, U.S Officials
The head of Sudan’s ruling council has led a high-level delegation to the United Arab Emirates for separate talks with U.S officials and Emirati, including discussions on its removal from the U.S’s list of countries sponsoring terrorism”, according to state media.
The Sudanese state news agency SUNA disclosed that General Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan, head of the sovereign council which has been ruling the country since the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir last year, will hold talks with the UAE’s leadership on “all regional issues related to Sudan”.
It added that Sudanese Justice Minister Naser-Eddin Abdelbari will meet U.S officials present in Abu Dhabi to discuss the removal of Sudan from the list of states sponsoring terrorism, support of the transitional period and writing off American debts”.
The Axios website did, however, report that there will be a decisive meeting in Abu Dhabi on Monday which will have in attendance US, Emirati and Sudanese officials. This would be to discuss “possible normalization agreement between Sudan and Israel”, similar to the U.S-brokered deals struck by the UAE and Bahrain in recent weeks.
Citing anonymous sources, Axios said besides the terror delisting, Sudan’s transitional government is asking for “over $3bn in humanitarian assistance and direct budgetary aid” in return for a deal with Israel.
It also seeks to have the U.S and the UAE to commit to providing Sudan with economic aid over the next three years”, Axios reported on Sunday.
In August, U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raised the issue of Sudan establishing ties with Israel during a visit to Khartoum. In response to this, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said his government had no mandate to do so, and that such a move could be decided after the end of the transitional period and the holding of elections, which has been planned for 2022.
Al Ahly Coach Weiler Silent On Future After Title win
Al Ahly manager Rene Weiler has refused to comment about his future after leading the Egyptian giants to a record extending 42nd league title over the weekend.
Al Ahly played out a goalless draw with Misr Lel Makkasa on Saturday but rivals Zamalek had suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Aswan on Friday to remain second with 55 points after 28 games played.
Their defeat confirmed Al Ahly as Egyptian Premier League champions for the fifth consecutive year with just six games left this season.
“We have always developed further. And now the team have rewarded themselves with winning the title early,” Weiler said afterwards.
“I still have a contract until next summer. I’ll analyze everything once at the end of the season,” he added.
Just last week, Frenchman Patrice Carteron resigned his post as Zamalek manager and immediately took up a lucrative position with Saudi Professional League side Al Taawon. With Weiler’s refusal to commit his long term future to Al Ahly, the club faces an anxious wait to see if he will follow in Carteron’s footsteps.
The 47-year-old Swiss manager has now added the Egyptian Premier League title to his haul, his second trophy in charge of Al Ahly after claiming the Egypt Super Cup title back in September following a 3-2 victory over Zamalek. It adds to a list of career achievements which also include the Belgian league title and the Belgian Super Cup with Anderlecht.
The win serves a major morale booster for Weiler and Al Ahly as they prepare for next month’s Total CAF Champions League semifinals doubleheader against Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca. The winners will face either Raja Casablanca or Zamalek in the Champions League final in early November.
According to Sayed Abdel-Hafiz, the football director of Al Ahly, the team will require maximum concentration in order to land a record-extending ninth CAF Champions League title.
“All I fear in the CAF Champions League is the lack of success,” he told the club’s television channel.
“All four teams in the Champions League semifinals share the same level of performance, so we have to concentrate in our games.”
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