Zaki snubs Portsmouth over Israelis

By Danny Caro, November 23, 2009
Amr Zaki

Amr Zaki

Portsmouth target Amr Zaki did not join the Premier League club because it was run by Israelis, reports claim.

The Egyptian striker was close to joining the South Coast strugglers but has since gone cold after Avram Grant took over as Director of Football.

The Zamalek striker, who impressed in the first half of the 2008-09 season with Wigan, has long been a target for Portsmouth shareholder Sulaiman Al-Fahim.

Indeed, Al-Fahim confirmed only last week that he was hoping to convince manager Paul Hart and Grant to sign Zaki, who he claimed "loves" the club and is desperate to move to Fratton Park.

But Zaki will not consider signing on the grounds that they employ two Israelis - Tal Ben Haim and Grant - as well as an Algerian in the form of Nadir Belhadj.

"I refused their offer before, but now joining Portsmouth is no longer an option for me," Zaki said on his official website.

"After Portsmouth signed an Israeli player and also hired an Israeli football director a possible move was ruled out. On top of that, no way could I play at Portsmouth with an Algerian within in their ranks."

Last updated: 1:43pm, November 23 2009