Hunt hits back at striker's racist claims

Premiership

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt has condemned allegations made against him by Al Ahly striker Amr Gamal, who in particular alleged he is ‘racist’.

Gamal spent seven months of a one-year loan spell at Wits in the 2017/18 season, before moving to Finnish side HJK Helsinki until returning to Ahly in July 2018.

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The 28-year-old forward’s most significant contribution was his three goals in four Telkom Knockout games as he led The Clever Boys to the title, before he fell out of favour under Hunt.

During a recent interview in Egypt, Gamal spoke out about his experience, allegedly accusing Hunt of racism, blocking his move to Russian club Ruben Kazan and subsequently his place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup with the Pharaohs.

“I was [Wits’] top goal scorer and I led them to win the [TKO] cup. But the coach insulted and humiliated me, and we even had a physical altercation. I was only defending myself,” Gamal told Egypt’s OnTime Sport 2 TV channel, according to KingFut.com.

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“He was arrogant and a racist, even his statements were provocative. They didn’t allow me to play even though I was the team’s top scorer.

“He told me: ‘I won’t let you return to Al Ahly and you won’t play in the World Cup.’ And at the time I received an offer from Rubin Kazan, I thought it would’ve been a great opportunity for me and a chance to play in the World Cup in Russia.

“Al Ahly didn’t mind the transfer, but Bidvest refused to let me go and the transfer window eventually closed. That’s why I was forced to play in Finland.”

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The four-time league-winning tactician has since responded to these claims, dubbing it a “disgrace” while hitting back at the burly centre-forward over his attitude and behaviour.

“I don’t know what he’s talking. I’ve never heard of Ruben Kazan, and how could I be racist towards him? I mean, that’s a disgrace man,” Hunt tells KickOff.com.

“Is it that he’s Muslim and I’m Christian? I mean, please. I don’t know if he’s referring to me, because I never had an altercation with him.

“Maybe he’s saying the manager – Jose [Ferreira, former Wits CEO], but that’s not me. I don’t decide on his moves, I knew nothing about Kazan man, that’s office business.

READ: Gamal leaves Al Ahly for military

“All that rubbish about not playing in the World Cup, how can I decide that? It’s got nothing to do with me, it’s complete nonsense. He’s talking about top scorer, with what? Three goals in 20 games?

“We paid him for that. He was staying in Melrose Arch – geewiz, you should have seen how he trashed the place, we had to pay two months’ rent to fix it up after he left.

“His claims are nonsense. I certainly had nothing to do with it. He was walking and standing around here on the pitch, doing nothing, and that’s why he didn’t play. I had no altercations, and racist? That’s out of line, what a joke.”

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