In an interview published in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram on Friday, the President of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) Samir Zaher revealed that Portuguese coach Nelo Vingada will succeed Hassan Shehata at the helm of the Pharaohs.
“The board have agreed to name Vingada as the new national coach,” Zaher said. “He will get Euro 40,000 per month and he will have two Portuguese assistants including a fitness coach. We have already reached an agreement but there are still a few formalities before we make the official announcement,” he added.
It is believed that both sides haven’t yet agreed on the duration of the contract, whether it will be till the 2014 World Cup or just the 2013African Cup of Nations. The Pharaohs won’t be able to defend the latter title in 2012 as they suffered a humiliating exit from the qualifiers.
The 58-year old Portuguese tactician – who led Zamalek to their last league title in 2004 and had a short spell with the Egypt U-23 team - will have the tough task of rebuilding the Egypt squad that stormed Africa over the past six years winning three straight African Cup of Nations’ titles in 2006, 2008, 2010 under Shehata.
No relegation cancellation
Talking about the debate surrounding the relegation rule this season, Zaher confirmed that the rules are unchanged.
“We will stick to our rules and we have confirmed that the relegation is applying. However if higher authorities think that this season was exceptional because of the country’s turmoil and decided otherwise we will have to deal with the fact and look for alternatives,” he added.
Ittihad of Alexandria will be cancelling the relegation system this season and there is a lot of pressure to keep this widely popular Alexandria-based club in top flight.
Their fans have conducted regular protests at the Military Headquarters in Alexandria and hope that the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) will make an exceptional decision in their favour.