Tuesday 10 March 2020
I thank Shukri al-Waer, the legendary goalkeeper of the Esperance Club, the reason for leaving the quarter-finals of the African Champions League against Zamalek to what he called “hysteria”.
Zamalek passed to the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League after overcoming Esperance by winning in Cairo with three goals to one and losing in Rades with a goal without a response.
Al-Waer said in newspaper statements: “Loss or gain is part of football, but in my opinion, the new elements in Esperance were not up to the level of the elements that left.”
And last summer saw the departure of a number of players from the ranks of Esperance, such as Youssef Belaili, Saad Bekir, Ayman bin Mohamed and Frank Com.
Al-Waer added: “The players who are currently in Esperance are unable to make the difference, Esperance could have crossed into the semi-finals if the hysteria of the first leg and the panic that appeared on the players were absent and led them to protest against the referee and the subsequent sanctions by the Kef.”
He continued: “Al-Kaf is not fair, but this is not the reason for leaving the Champions League. With regard to the return match, the team played the most difficult role in the third minute, but mismanagement was present in the rest of the match, and the team at the physical level was not on time.”
He concluded, “But the loss is not the end of the world.”
It should be noted that Esperance is the CAF Champions League holder in the last two versions.