Egyptian striker Amr Gamal (second from right) at Tuesday's Wits press conference with coach Gavin Hunt and CEO Jose Ferreira. Photo: Mazola Molefe

JOHANNESBURG – Bidvest Wits chief executive Jose Ferreira has revealed he had doubts whether striker Amr Gamal would eventually join the Clever Boys from Al-Ahly, due to the Egyptian club’s head coach being reluctant to allow the 26-year-old to leave.

Wits on Tuesday morning confirmed the arrival of Gamal, who looks more like a model than a footballer, on a season-long loan deal, with an option to buy him outright at the end of the 2017/18 campaign.

But Ferreira said he worked tirelessly to get the deal done.

“We should all do ourselves a favour and learn Arabic, because the politics there are incredible. This story was all over the papers in Egypt because of how complex it was to do the deal,” the Wits CEO explained.

“It was the most difficult transfer I have ever worked on. It took us working every day for two months to try and get Amr here. I don’t want to say anything untoward, but the coach (Hossam El-Badry) was the biggest stumbling block.

“But the player must be given the credit to try and push the move as well. He is the one that actually made this happen in the end because he immediately fell in love with our club from when we played them in the (CAF) Champions League in March.”

Speaking through a translator, Gamal said he’d been following Wits for a while now and was ready to make an immediate impact.

He will not feature in their Absa Premiership league clash on Wednesday night away to Free State Stars because he is still awaiting his international clearance certificate.

“Wits should be playing in the semi-final or final of the Champions League, that is how good they are. It was unfortunate to meet them in the competition so early (playoff to get into the group stages),” said the forward.

“I think South Africa is the best place for me to progress in my career. I had offers from clubs abroad as well, but I turned them down to come to this league.”


IOL Sport