Al Ahly SC have ended a long-running controversy over the head coach post after announcing that Swiss Rene Weiler will be in charge of the club’s football team following Martin Lasarte who was sacked in mid-August after losing to Pyramids in Egypt Cup.
The Swiss coach chose three foreign members in his coaching staff, a point that was controversial as Al Ahly wanted to appoint a national general coach, but finally approved the new coach’s requests.
A delegation from Al Ahly’s board of directors, led by Khaled Mortagy and Amir Tawfik, flew to Switzerland two days ago, after negotiations with Italian Luciano Spalletti and Brazilian Mano Menezes stalled.
Weiler was selected after long discussions within the club’s planning committee, including Taha Ismail, Zakaria Nassef, and Khaled Bebo, in coordination with Mahmoud El Khatib, chairperson of the club.
The 44-year-old Swiss manager agreed an annual salary of $2m, despite attempts by Mortagy and Tawfik to reduce it.
The Swiss coach is expected to arrive in Cairo on Sunday to officially start his job with the team.
Al Ahly’s next game will be against Equatorial Guinea champions Kano Sport on 14 September in the round of 32 of the CAF Champions League.
So far, it is not clear whether Weiler will lead Al Ahly in this match or the temporary coaching staff, led by Mohamed Youssef, will continue its work until the new coach gets to know the team.
The current football manager, Sayed Abdel Hafez, will remain in his post, while Samy Komsan will be the assistant manager.
Weiler has coached his fair share of clubs in Europe mainly in Switzerland, Germany, and Belgium including Swiss sides FC Aarau and FC Luzern, as well as German club FC Nuremberg.
However, his most successful stint was with Belgian giants RSC Anderlecht whom he led to their last league title in 2017 as well as the Super Cup.