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Ex-Africa Kings Esperance in Crisis as Fans Reject Club President’s Resignation

Two-time CAF Champions League (CCL) winners Espérance Sportif de Tunis is slowly being rocked by an internal crisis following the resignation of club president Hamdi Meddeb.

The 65-year-old resigned from his job of ten years as president of Tunisia’s most successful club, Esperance. The footballer-turned businessman called it quits just forty-eight hours after the Blood and Gold outfit got booted out of the CCL by Egypt’s Al Ahly on a slender 4-3 aggregate.

Meddeb, who owns a yogurt-producing company in the Tunisian capital, had hoped to end Esperance’s six-year trophy-less run in the Champions League, this year.

Winning the Tunisian league is almost guaranteed this term after a successful back-to-back campaign in the previous outings, allowing the club board backed by Hamdi, to switch focus to launch an audacious bid for the continent’s biggest club prize.

As a result, the club was on a shopping spree this transfer window having obtained funds from partner groups. In efforts to bolster the squad, the 65-year-old oversaw the signing of midfielder Frank Kom, a controversy-ridden transfer which led to an airport bitter brawl with the Cameroonian star’s other prospective buyers Etoile Du Sahel claiming they called dibs on the player first.

All this signaled an aggressive approach and the lengths with which Hamdi was ready to go in a desperate attempt at securing the Champions League this year. ESS’s shocking exit, consequently, is being seen as mission unaccomplished by Meddeb, prompting his resignation.

However, club supporters have taken it upon themselves not to allow the board’s boss dabble in self-pity and frustration and have refused to accept his resignation, calling for his return.

Esperance’s official fan group has launched a series of social media campaigns to ensure the retiree’s return.

Solidarity marches were held at Park B – a famed meeting spot in Tunis – and at Medded’s home, waving placards chanting ‘comeback’. The situation is threatening to derail the side’s push for yet another trophy-hunt at domestic level.

A football correspondent in Tunis Ducor Sports spoke to this week said, further demonstrations were planned for Thursday. There’s hope the crisis will be resolved, a source said, but whether that will mean Meddeb yielding and returning, remains to be seen.




Featured Photo: COEURS D’Athletes



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