Egypt’s Olympic team coach Hany Ramzy said he was disappointed with fan attendance during Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Niger in the last round of the 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The Pharaohs, who are represented by the U-23 side, grabbed a consolation victory to end their winless streak in the qualifying campaign amid little interest from Egyptian football supporters.
“We missed the presence of our fans tonight. The view at Cairo Stadium was not good,” Ramzy, a prominent Egypt defender in the 1990s and early 2000s, said in a television interview after the game.
“Niger were supported by a larger number of fans. Anyway, I hope the fans turn out in large numbers when we play in the final phase of the Olympic Games qualifiers.”
Ramzy was tasked with completing the Nations Cup qualifiers after Egypt lost hopes of reaching the tournament they won a record seven times, including three triumphs on the trot in 2006, 2008 and 2010.
Egypt’s U-23 side are getting ready for the anticipated eight-team qualifying tournament which will determine whether they will end a long wait for an Olympic appearance. Egypt have not played in the quadrennial showpiece since 1992.
They were drawn in Group A along with South Africa, Gabon and Ivory Coast. The tournament, which will take place in Egypt, runs from 26 November to 10 December.
“I almost settled on the players who will take part in the qualification tournament. We might add one or two new players when the Egyptian Premier League begins,” Ramzy added.
American coach Bob Bradley will now take over from Ramzy as the senior team coach.
“I sat down with Bradley and gave him a report about the Olympic team. He is an organized man who cares about the minor technical details,” Ramzy said.