CAIRO: Former Zamalek playmaker Hazem Emam said he would not run for a seat in the club’s board of directors in next year’s elections after experiencing a disappointing spell as a board member.
The fame of Emam, who retired from professional football in 2008 after becoming a cult figure among Zamalek’s faithful, paved the way for him to secure an easy win in last year’s elections.
But a troubled spell that culminated in a court ruling to disband Zamalek’s board, which was headed by businessman Mamdouh Abbas, prompted the 35-year-old to opt out of the new election which is due to take place in July 2011.
"I don’t want to repeat that experience because it was not a pleasant one," Emam told Modern Sport on Wednesday.
"The actions of some Zamalek figures unsettled us and affected our work during the past year."
Controversial lawyer Mortada Mansour, who had a brief spell as Zamalek chairman in 2006, won an appeal against the legitimacy of the club’s 2009 elections which brought his bitter foe Abbas into office.
The board was accordingly dissolved and an interim board, led by Galal Ibrahim, was appointed until new election is held next year.
Emam has been widely criticized for ‘failing to dedicate sufficient time to serve the club’.
He was particularly blamed for working as a TV analyst for Qatari sports channel Al-Jazeera during the World Cup when Zamalek were competing with arch-rivals Ahli for some big-name signings.
"The spell I had as a board member did not benefit me at all. On the contrary, it affected my popularity," Emam added.
"I hope that Mr. Ibrahim will succeed to help Zamalek enjoy a stable and problem-free period."
Emam won with Zamalek three Egyptian league, two Egyptian Cup and two African Champions League titles during two stints with the White Knights.
He also had spells with Italy’s Udinese and Dutch side De Graafschap.