Egypt's assistant coach defends World Cup appearance

Ahram Online , Monday 9 Jul 2018,
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File Photo: Egyptian assistant coach Osama Nabih (Photo: Al-Ahram)

The former Egyptian national team assistant coach Osama Nabih has defended the performance of technical staff at the World Cup.

"We were able to make the team qualify for the World Cup finals after 28 years of absence. We also made it back to the African Cup of Nations after seven years of failing to qualify and won second place," Nabih stated in a long TV interview Sunday evening.

Egypt, currently ranked 45th globally, have surprised fans with an early World Cup exit. They lost 1-0 against Uruguay in the opener before being stunned by worldwide-ranked 70th Russia 3-1 before totally collapsing against 67th Saudi Arabia to earn bottom place at the group A table.

Salah didn't reject meeting Kadyro

Nabih has also stressed that there were no problems for Liverpool Mohamed Salah after meeting Chechyen Republic President Ramzan Kadyrov.

"Salah didn't reject meeting Kadyrov and his relationship with the technical staff wasn't influenced by that meeting, although he said the effect of that meeting on him will not be good," Nabih said.

British media heavily criticized the English Premier League Player of the Season Salah for appearing at a reception for the national team with controversial president the Chechen Republic in which he was granted an 'honory citizenship'.

The choice of Grozny as the site of the team's base has also received criticism, not only because of controversy surrounding the Chechen leader, but also due to its distance from game venues.

The Egyptian government, represented by the sports minister, will 'review' a series of financial and administrative issues that parliament's Sports Committee described as "serious violations" in the" humiliating exit" of the team during their "disgraceful appearance" at the World Cup.

(For more sports news and updates and a special World Cup 2018 coverage, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports)

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