Ahli and Ismaili finally in 'new relationship'

الإثنين، 03 أغسطس 2009 - 13:03

كتب : Omar AbdelAziz

Will Sherif Abdul-Fadil's move from Ismailia to Cairo stamp the fire out of the relationship between Ahli and Ismaili at last?

The Abdul-Fadil deal is regarded as the hit of this summer after Ahli managed to outpace fierce rivals Zamalek in the race to sign the highly-rated defender.

However, the Egyptian champions could gain a lot more benefits other than landing the international defender from Ismaili.

With Ahmed Sedik going in the opposite direction, the Cairo-Ismailia trade line has been significantly refreshed after a period of frostiness.

Vicious Rivalry

'Vicious rivalry' is the least that can be said to describe an increasingly hectic atmosphere between Ahli and Ismaili in recent years.

With a number of ex-Ismaili players winning trophies in the red shirt, the majority of Dervishes fans believed that Ahli achieved glory only after 'stealing' their stars.

Moreover, the infamous Hosni Abd-Rabou case, in addition to a blitz of titles and a series of comprehensive wins for Ahli over Ismaili during Manuel Jose's reign added more fuel to fire for the desperate Ismaili fans.

The unrest has even spread to reach residents of the two governorates, not to mention the crazy ambiance surrounding matches between both teams.

"Jose was astonished to see such chaos. He had to leave the stadium by a Police vehicle," Jose's interpreter Ahmed Abdou said after the Portuguese's last visit to Ismailia.

"He assured me that he's not going to visit Ismailia under any circumstances, even when his team travel there for official fixtures."

New Relationship

According to Ismaili chairman Nasr Aboul-Hassan, the coastal club are in a 'new relationship' with their fierce rivals, following a fruitful transfer period at both ends.

Aboul-Hassan implied that he is confident Ahli will not pursue further action in their infamous row with Ismaili new signing Essam Al-Hadari.

"I am optimistic that Ahli won't seek further action against him (Al-Hadari) especially that our relationship with them has become better of late. We have a new relationship with Ahli," said the Ismaili patron.

Mentioning a new relationship, Aboul-Hassan was clearly referring to the recent transactions with the Red Devils.

The nature of the exchange deal (Sedik plus cash for Abdul-Fadil) makes it a whole different story for Ismaili fans than if one of their players had just joined Ahli.

Another fact worth mentioning is that Sedik was no fringe player with Ahli in recent seasons.

"Abdul-Fadil used to fill in the right-back position with us, now we have got Sedik, who is also an excellent player in that position as well," added Aboul-Hassan.

Hopefully, the ongoing truce between Ahli and Ismaili is for real ahead of the new season.

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