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Egypt likely to sack coach Gharib after Nations Cup fiasco

Hatem Maher , Thursday 20 Nov 2014
Shawky Gharib
Egypt's coach Shawky Gharib (L) stands next to team director Ahmed Hassan (2nd L) during their African Nations Cup qualifying soccer match against Tunisia in Cairo September 10, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt are likely to dismiss coach Shawky Gharib after a disastrous qualifying campaign saw the team set an unwanted record of failing to qualify for the African Cup of Nations three times in a row.

The Pharaohs surrendered a first-half lead to lose 2-1 at Tunisia on Wednesday and waste the chance of reaching the Equatorial Guinea finals as the best third-placed team among the seven groups.

They needed to beat their North African rivals by a two-goal margin to advance but they ended up enraging their supporters after a dismal second-half showing in Monastir.

Egyptian Football Association (EFA) chairman Gamal Allam refused to confirm that Gharib will be shown the door, but said the national team need to appoint a foreign coach soon.

“A decision over Gharib will not be taken until the coming EFA board meeting. But I personally believe that the coming coach must be foreign. There was a clause in Gharib’s contract that stipulated Egypt should qualify for the Nations Cup,” Allam told MBC Masr channel.

“We will check a number of CVs, but only after the next board of directors meeting.”

Egypt completed a hat-trick of Nations Cup failures after a remarkable feat saw them win three consecutive titles in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

They failed to reach the 2012 edition under Hassan Shehata and his successor Bob Bradley was also unsuccessful in the 2013 qualifiers.

Gharib, who was tasked with rebuilding a side shorn of several key players, some of whom had already retired, apologised to the Egyptian fans for the latest fiasco

“But we are building a team for the future,” the 55-year-old added.

Gharib said he would accept any decision from the EFA regarding his future, while setting a number of excuses for Egypt’s third-place finish behind Tunisia and Senegal including a string of injuries which hit some key players.

The record-seven time winners could only garner six points from two victories over Botswana, losing home and away to Tunisia and Senegal.

Egypt have never failed to reach Africa's showpiece three straight times. They missed out on two consecutive editions twice: in 1965 and 1968 and 2012 and 2013.

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