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The New Arab

Saudi football kingpin abandons his Egyptian club after fans chant insults

Sheikh spent $38 million during the last transfer period - an all-time African record [Getty]

Date of publication: 25 September, 2018

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A Saudi football kingpin has announced that he will pull millions of dollars of investments out of an Egyptian club after football fans chanted insults directed at him.

A Saudi football kingpin has announced that he will pull millions of dollars of investments out of an Egyptian club after football fans chanted insults directed at him.

Turki al-Sheikh, who is of the most powerful figures in Middle Eastern sport, announced he was pulling out of Pyramids FC on Tuesday.

"Sheikh has decided to permanently pull his sports investments from Pyramids," an anchor the team's television channel said.

"External contracts will be brought for the players and the Pyramids Channel will provide its workers with excellent positions and their contracts will go on," he added.

The move comes after the controversial Saudi sports minister said he was seriously considering quitting putting money into Egyptian football over "strange, daily attacks".

Fans of Cairo-based mega-club al-Ahly chanted insults at Sheikh over the weekend during a game.

"Turki al-Sheikh f*** him. Turki watch out we are going to f*** your mother for you," the fans chanted.

Sheikh has been a divisive figure since he burst onto the Middle Eastern football world.

The Saudi billionaire spent $38 million on players during the last transfer period - an all-time African record.

Sheikh bought Egyptian league minnow al-Assiouty and rebranded it as Pyramids FC, bringing in 23 new players - including 4 Brazilians - and an Argentinean coach and moved the team to Cairo.

The massive unheard of investment in Egyptian football has, however, made Sheikh a much-disliked figure among fans in the football-crazy country.

Fans and commentators alike have criticised the completely "artificial" club - bought and paid for by Gulf petro-dollars and implanted into their highly traditional league.

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