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Zamalek's Shikabala gets 8-month ban reduced to 8 matches
Published in Ahram Online on 22 - 09 - 2021

Zamalek's veteran winger Mahmoud Shikabala had his eight-month ban, imposed over a heated argument with Egypt's football chief, reduced to eight games, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) said on Wednesday.
The original suspension, which was handed out to Shikabala last month, caused an outcry among Zamalek's supporters, who believed their favourite schemer was being targeted by the EFA.
Shikabala, who is no stranger to controversy, was videoed remonstrating with EFA head Ahmed Megahed following the end of Zamalek's final Egyptian Premier League against NBE club last month.
The 35-year-old was furious that some of his teammates, who were not included in the match's squad, and their wives were not allowed on the pitch during the post-match celebrations as Zamalek were presented with the league trophy.
Megahed reportedly approached Shikabala to tell him it was not his job to decide who gets in, sparking a furious exchange. Videos showed the player being restrained by security personnel.
Reports said Shikabala had hurled obscenities at Megahed, which led to the hefty ban, but the EFA chief later said he had not heard any insults.
"The appeals committee has decided to amend its decision and slash the ban to eight games," read a statement carried on the EFA's official social media accounts.
The committee also said Shikabala's original EGP 500,000 (roughly $31,750) fine was reduced to EGP 250,000.
Local reports said Shikabala would take the matter to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) to revoke the "unjust" sanction.
Shikabala's career has been blighted by numerous disciplinary problems as he failed to live up to his potential due to some off-field antics.
Most recently, he was caught on television cameras making an offensive chant against Cairo rivals Ahly along with a small contingent of Zamalek supporters after the White Knights were crowned Egyptian champions with one match to spare in August.
There is no love lost between Shikabala and Ahly's supporters. He has been involved in numerous confrontations with the Red Devils' fans throughout his troublesome career, often responding to any offensive chants in an unruly manner.
Earlier this year, he was handed a two-game ban for pointing to his shoe in an apparent insulting gesture to Ahly's supporters during a 1-1 Cairo derby draw.
Shikabala scored two goals and provided five assists in all competitions last season.
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