Egypt coach Bob Bradley will hold a news conference to clarify comments about the ongoing political turmoil in the country, an Egyptian Football Association (EFA) official said on Wednesday.
Tharwat Sweilam, the EFA’s chief executive, told Ahram’s Arabic-language sports website that Bradley wanted to “rebuff rumours” over the interview he gave to ESPN on Saturday, few hours after a court verdict sentenced 21 fans to death due to their role in last year’s Port Said disaster.
“I have a good relationship with Bradley and I’m sure the man would not make any defamatory comments about Egypt or its leadership,” Sweilam added.
The Port Said ruling sparked riots in the coastal city which left more than 40 dead as angry protesters clashed with police forces.
American boss Bradley, who took charge of Egypt in 2011 following the departure of highly-successful boss Hassan Shehata, told ESPN “there will be a huge divide in Egypt” following the verdict.
"Many people at the moment are frustrated. There's no trust of the leadership that has been in place now. And then of course there are others that support the Muslim Brotherhood,” he added.
The sports committee of the Shura Council, Egypt’s upper house of parliament, said it might take an action against Bradley if “it was proven that he had attacked Egypt’s leadership”.
“Bradley is not entitled to discuss politics in Egypt. He has one specific job: he is the coach of the national team,” said Mohamed Hafez, head of the Shura Council’s sports committee.
The 54-year-old stirred similar controversy last year when he hinted that Egypt’s military, which was in charge of the country at the time, was responsible for the Port Said tragedy.
Bradley is tasked with ending Egypt’s long World Cup drought. The Pharaohs have not appeared at the tournament since 1990.
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