ABU DHABI // The passionate Zamalek fans can chant the name of Jorvan Vieira all they like, it will not change the decision of the head coach, who says he will walk out on the Egyptian side "as soon as possible" after growing increasingly frustrated with the state of the country's football league.
On Saturday night at Zayed Sports City, having led his side to an unlikely 1-0 win in an exhibition match against Zenit St Petersburg, the Russian champions, Vieira was greeted by a small group of fervent spectators singing his name in unison. He gave them a wave and walked off the pitch. Whether he sees them again remains to be seen.
The Brazilian was appointed head coach of the Cairo side in August last year on the promise that the Egyptian Premier League, indefinitely suspended since last February when a mass attack on Al Ahly fans at Port Said Stadium left 79 people dead, would soon resume. Such has not been the case and Vieira has now told The National he will quit.
"As soon as possible, I will leave," he said. "Zamalek treat me very well, I have no complaints, but it is very difficult with no league. Every time you prepare for the league to restart, there is a problem. It is near impossible to develop any kind of good work when the club has a new structure, new board; people thinking differently from you. I came to Zamalek at the wrong time."
Vieira added that he has already held informal discussions with other clubs, including two national teams. "I have spoken to other clubs and national teams, but I cannot say where. I am living in the UAE and my priority is to be near to my family. I would like to be closer to them - maybe one hour away on a plane. I have a 16 year old son and my wife is doing the job of mother and father. It is not fair on her."
The 59 year old, who unforgettably led Iraq to Asian Cup success in 2007, said he has to consider his reputation.
"Even if I have a fantastic group of players and a very good relationship, it is almost impossible to remain positive about developing football in Egypt. We are working for training and friendly matches only. I am not a coach for training and friendly matches; I have a reputation to preserve," Vieira, a former coach at UAE clubs Baniyas and Sharjah, added.
"It is frustrating; it is not good for my health. I do not need this money; this money is not good for me these days. I told them: 'I don't want money for this, I am not a mercenary, I am a football coach'."
and Gary Meenaghan