CAIRO: Ismaili hit out at Malian referee Koman Coulibaly for expressing his gratitude to Ahly ahead of both sides’ African Champions League clash on Sunday.
Local media quoted Coulibaly, who will be in charge of the anticipated game, as thanking Ahly for warmly welcoming him following his arrival in Cairo.
He also praised Ahly’s training facilities to further infuriate the Red Devils’ bitter rivals Ismaili.
"Ahly’s hospitality and friendly attitudes towards the visitors can not be questioned but the referee should not have made those comments," Ismaili spokesman Alaa Wahid told FilGoal.com.
"The Confederation of African Football (CAF) should not permit that. They have to order the referees to stick to the principles of football.
"The way Coulibaly spoke about Ahly could influence his decisions in such a sensitive game."
Coulibaly, 40, took charge of the game after Moroccan referee Abdellah El Achiri withdrew.
Reports suggested that El Achiri was replaced upon the request of seven-time African champions Ahly.
However, a CAF source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told FilGoal.com that El Achiri could not referee the match due to a back injury.
Ahly opened their Group B campaign with a 1-1 draw away to Nigeria’s Heartland while Ismaili slumped to a 1-0 home loss to Algerian side JS Kabylie.