Hossam El-Badly has quit as coach of CAF Champions league title holders Al-Ahly of Egypt after they qualified for the group phase.
El-Badry, who guided the Cairo Red Devils to a 3-2 aggregate victory over Esperance of Tunisia in the 2012 final, revealed he had signed a one-year contract with Libyan club Al-Ahly Tripoli.
Lack of funds to strengthen the Egyptian giants appears to be behind the surprise move with a security-related ban on spectators in Egypt cutting off precious gate revenue.
The cash-strapped club sold Ahmed Fathy and Mohammed Geddo to English club Hull City and talismanic midfielder Mohamed Aboutrika to a club in the United Arab Emirates.
It has left the Devils short of experience with defender Wael Gomaa, midfilder Mohamed Barakat and striker Emad Moteab the only links with the all-conquering squad of the past decade.
A draw to split the eight survivors into two groups will be made on May 14 in Cairo and Ahly and Esperance are the teams to beat in the chase for a $1.5 million (1.1 million euros) first prize and a FIFA Club World Cup place.
Meanwhile, Ahly have named Mohamed Youssef as first team coach until the end of the season following the departure of Hossam El-Badry on Sunday.
The club have criticised El-Badry for his sudden exit in the middle of the season. He had led the Reds to the group stage of the CAF Champions League and to the top of Group A in the Egyptian Premier League.
“Ahly football committee deeply regrets the irresponsible behaviour of Hossam El-Badry. It is inappropriate for him to quit before the end of the season,” read a statement published on the club’s official website on Tuesday.
The statement was issued on Tuesday after a meeting of the football committee with chairman Hassan Hamdy, his deputy Mahmoud El-Khatib, football sector manager Hadi Khashaba and football director Sayed Abdel-Hafiz,” as stated on the club’s official website.
After the Cairo giants ended the round of 16 in the African Champions League by beating Bizertin of Tunisia, El-Badry announced he would take charge of Ahly Tripoli in Libya staring in June.
“There are several reasons for that, personal ones. There are some family problems which are making it difficult for me to stay,” an emotional El-Badry said during the post-match press conference.
El-Badry, 53, first took charge of Ahly in 2009 following the departure of highly-successful manager Manuel Jose, whom he worked with as an assistant for several years before being dismissed in November 2010 after Ahly were knocked out of the African Champions League semi-final by Tunisia’s Esperance.
In the summer of 2012, after a successful season with Sudanese side Al-Merreikh, he replaced Jose at Ahly after the Portuguese manager departed following the Port Said disaster that forced a lengthy suspension of domestic football.
“It’s not about the money, I swear, I’m here to win trophies, and if I can’t guarantee that, it will be difficult to stay,” El-Badry insisted at the time.