Egypt FA likely to extend Cuper contract before World Cup: Official

Ahram Online , Tuesday 3 Apr 2018

Soccer Football - International Friendly - Egypt vs Greece - Stadion Letzigrund, Zurich, Switzerland - March 27, 2018 Egypt coach Hector Cuper before the match REUTERS

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) is likely to extend coach Hector Cuper's contract as early as next month, the association's executive director said on Tuesday.

EFA chief Hani Abou-Reida said in January that Cuper's future was likely to be settled after the World Cup but the EFA looked to have had a change of heart amid reports suggesting that the Argentinean might be lured by South American offers.

"The entire board of directors has agreed to extend Cuper's contract and authorised chairman Abou-Reida to negotiate with him," the EFA's executive director Tharwat Sweilam said in a radio interview.

"Cuper is not an avaricious man and he is not taking advantage of the fact that we need him before the World Cup. He said he loves Egypt and that he wants to stay put. He also said he would give Egypt the priority over any other offer if the financial gaps are not big.

"Abou-Reida will sit down with Cuper in the next few days ... most probably his contract will be extended before the national team's next training camp in May."

Cuper, who took charge of Egypt in March 2015, is credited with turning around the fortunes of an ailing side that failed to qualify for the African Cup of Nations three straight times, right after securing an unprecedented hat-trick of continental trophies in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

He put an extra emphasis on tightening what used to be a porous defence his work yielded tangible results, with Egypt qualifying for the Nations Cup final in Gabon last year.

Although they lost 2-1 to Cameroon in the final, they quickly recovered to top their World Cup qualifying group and reach the football's most prestigious showpiece for the first time since 1990, a remarkable achievement for the football-mad nation.

The Pharaohs will face hosts Russia, South American powerhouses Uruguay and Arab Gulf side Saudi Arabia in Group A of the tournament, which kicks off on 14 June. 

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