Yesterday, Friday, in the first leg of the semi-finals of the African Football Champions League, the resounding defeat of Tunisian Esperance by its Egyptian guest Al-Ahly, 3-0, sparked anger among the fans and symbols of the ancient club.
The well-known former president of the club, Salim Chiboub, who led Esperance to win its first title in the African Champions League in 1994, said: “It is not a habit for Esperance to accept three goals in a match of this size in the semi-finals of the African Champions League. The situation is not good.”
“The Esperance fans have the right to be angry because they are not used to this situation. When they are surprised at such a level, they have the right to be angry,” Chiboub added, in his statement to the private “Diwan FM” radio.
A member of the Esperance Elders Committee criticized the coach’s choices, Nabil Maaloul, and said in his statements: “When the team succeeds, the victories are counted for the coach, and when defeated, he must bear the consequences of the negative results, but we should not be too harsh.”
Chiboub added, “Nabil is not a bad coach, but he made a mistake in assessing his group of players, whose capabilities proved to be limited.”
Taraji legend and analyst on the Qatari “BN Sport” channels, Tariq Diab, criticized the team’s performance, and Tariq said after the match, “This is the worst version in the history of Taraji. These players have no place in the team and the coach offended the club.”
Tariq added, “It’s a scandal. The club president has to save the team and change the officials. There must be a revolution. Those officials should leave.”
The former player of Esperance praised the Egyptian team’s performance and said, “Al-Ahly played an application match against Esperance, and the result was almost heavier.”
The wave of anger led to coach Nabil Maaloul announcing his resignation from his position, after the team’s chances of winning four titles in the CAF Champions League decreased by a large percentage in qualifying for the final match, in addition to the shake-up of its performance in the local league, as the team in fifth place suffered two losses in a row against Sfaxien and African. Before the Al-Ahly match.
Maaloul said that he understands the disappointment and sadness of the Esperance fans after this heavy loss.