The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) has put on hold its negotiations with foreign candidates for the job of head coach for its national team, as there might be a switch in plans.
The football governing body had initially agreed on appointing a foreign tactician, and a five-man shortlist was announced earlier this week.
Two-time African Nations Cup winner Herve Renard from France came in as the frontrunner, ahead of his compatriot Alain Giresse, Belgian Georges Leekens, German Ulit Stielke and Dutchman Frank Rijkaard.
“We were hoping to proceed very soon but, if the league remains suspended, there will be no reason to hire a foreign tactician who doesn’t know the Egyptian players and won’t have the opportunity to see them in action in order to make his choices,” EFA vice president Hassan Farid told a radio programme on Thursday.
A cabinet meeting on Wednesday was scheduled to make a decision on the resumption of the football league, but the issue has been put on hold due to more pressing matters.
“We are in advanced talks with Renard, but we might opt for a national coach who will surely be more accustomed to the players and these circumstances," Farid said.
"Personally I want Hassan Shehata and that seems to be a general opinion among board members,” he concluded.
Shehata had a glorious spell with the Pharaohs, leading them to an unprecedented treble in 2006, 2008 and 2010.
The 65-year-old tactician is currently in charge of Arab Contractors, but has hinted on several occasions that he would welcome the job any time.
The seven-time African champions have been without a head coach since the departure of Shawky Gharib in November 2014, after failing to reach the Africa Cup of Nations finals for the third time in a row.
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