CAIRO: Zamalek football director Ibrahim Hassan leapt to the defense of Shikabala after he was videoed aiming abusive chants at Cairo rivals Ahly.
The talented forward looked ecstatic after Zamalek claimed a last-gasp 1-0 home victory over a stubborn Masri side earlier this week to move six points clear of Ahly, who have two games in hand, at the top of the Egyptian Premier League table.
A video posted on popular sharing website YouTube showed Shikabala singing with Zamalek fans a song insulting defending champions Ahly.
Many Ahly supporters expressed their anger on internet fan forums and called on the club’s board to take a legal action.
However, Ibrahim Hassan, the twin brother of head coach Hossam, said there was nothing wrong with what Shikabala did.
"Shikabala did not mention the name of any club in his chants," he told FilGoal.com on Wednesday.
"I believe that he did not attack anybody, so why people want him to be punished.
"I firmly reject the attack some people launched on Shikabala, and I warn everyone of targeting Zamalek players," Hassan, who is known for his fiery temper, added.
Shikabala is already under fire after Egypt coach Hassan Shehata accused him of feigning injury to skip the team’s friendly game against Australia last week.
Ahly fans usually hurl insults at the 24-year-old during the explosive Cairo derby.
Zamalek supporters repeatedly called on the Egyptian FA to punish Ahly for what they perceive as ‘racist chants’ against the in-form wizard, who made an impressive start to the season despite his consistent off-field problems.
Shikabala is Zamalek’s top scorer with five league goals, one behind the competition’s leading scorer Ahmed Abdul-Zaher of ENPPI.
Fierce rivals Ahly and Zamalek will clash in an anticipated derby on December 31.