CAIRO: Ahly assistant coach Mohamed Youssef says Mohamed “Geddo” Nagi didn’t take part in the Red Devils’ 1-1 draw at Heartland due to technical reasons, saying the forward’s drawn-out transfer saga has nothing to do with his non-participation.
Geddo, who was named in the Egyptian champions’ squad for the CAF Champions League game but was benched throughout the 90 minutes, is still legally pursued by Zamalek.
After the Egypt ace joined Ahly from Ittihad, Zamalek took legal action against him, claiming he had signed a contract with them before leaving the Alexandrian side this summer.
Later on, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) imposed a short-term local ban on Geddo. A final decision is yet to be made.
Geddo did not participate in Ahly’s first Champions League group stage clash only because the coaching staff decided to keep him out, Youssef stressed.
"The coaching staff had a plan before flying to Nigeria," Youssef, who did not travel along with Ahly’s contingent," told FilGoal.com. "Geddo wasn’t a part of it. It’s as simple as that.
"Keeping him benched has nothing to do with his problem with Zamalek. We just didn’t have to field him."
Geddo was spotted while warming up in the second period but remained on the sidelines after Mohamed Abou-Trika brought the score level. Mostafa Shebeita was introduced instead.
When asked about the game, Youssed said: "The result is satisfactory because it’s our first game in the new season.
"It was an away match against the competition’s runners-up. They were physically prepared because the Nigerian league got underway a while back."