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Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Egypt to shortlist candidates for new national team coach; 4 locals favoured

Eslam Omar , Sunday 22 Jul 2018
Cuper
Former Egypt coach Hector Cuper (Photo: Reuters)
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The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) is wrapping up this week a final list of nominees for the successor to national team coach Hector Cuper after his contract expires.

"The association's board will meet up this week, by Wednesday at the most, to shortlist all candidates favoured for the national team coaching job," EFA board member Ahmed Megahed told a local radio station on Sunday morning.

The Argentinean Cuper, 62, ended his three-year spell with a disappointing appearance at the 2018 World Cup, losing all three group stage games to Uruguay, Russia and Saudi Arabia, earning bitter criticism for his defensive strategy.

Some are speculating that the association could name an Egyptian coach, recalling the memories of the golden era of Hassan Shehata, who led the country to winning three successive African Cups of Nations (2006, 2008 and 2010).

"Age does matter in deciding the next coach. The board wants to contract the new coach for four years. So far, the association is leaning towards picking a foreigner," Megahed added.

Board member Khaled Latif, however, enthusiastically defended hiring an Egyptian, insisting that rehiring Shehata be considered, as well as former Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry, current Masry coach Hossam Hassan and Smouha's Talaat Youssif.

"I honestly see the upcoming era as the national coach time. The Egyptian coach really feels the hopes, ambitions and dreams of the people, especially in big events like the World Cup," Latif told an Egyptian TV channel on Saturday.

The football-obsessed country of 100 million people was shocked by the weak show of the overestimated team, which only depended on England's best footballer Mohamed Salah, prompting many to slam the EFA board.

The criticism has been fading gradually, as the elected board has refused to resign with no follow-up announced for the sports ministry and the parliament's review of their work and investigation of alleged violations.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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