Amr Zaki has stated that he will not consider signing for Portsmouth on the grounds that they employ two Israelis – Tal Ben Haim and Avram Grant – as well as an Algerian in Nadir Belhadj.
Zamalek striker Zaki, 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 director of football Grant to sign Zaki.
But Zaki has risked censure by claiming that the presence of Grant and defender Ben Haim means he would not consider joining Portsmouth. After the recent hostility between Egypt and Algeria in World Cup qualifying, the presence of Belhadj would also an issue.
“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 their ranks.”