Egypt coach Vitoria tenure on chopping block ahead of crucial EFA meeting: Reports

Ahram Online , Saturday 3 Feb 2024

Portuguese coach Rui Vitoria's tenure as Egypt's national team coach may be coming to an end following the Pharaohs' excruciating exit from the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), according to multiple reports ahead of an important meeting for the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) on Sunday.

Rui Vitoria
File Photo: Egypt s Portuguese headcoach Rui Vitoria looks on during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2024 group B football match between Egypt and Mozambique at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan. AFP


Egypt entered AFCON 2023 under Vitoria's leadership with hopes of adding to their impressive record of seven continental titles.

Fans had reason to 'believe' because Vitoria led the team to 12 victories, 5 draws, and only one defeat since assuming the helm in July 2022.

However, the Pharaohs struggled in the group stage, narrowly advancing with three consecutive 2-2 draws.

To add insult to injury, the team's performance deteriorated further in the knockout round match against DR Congo, losing the match in a penalty shootout in a game where they lacked offensive vigour and defensive stability.

What "Unfavourable Circumstances"?


Vitoria attempted to downplay the massive upset in his post-game remarks.

"We did not anticipate the defeat. Unfavourable circumstances led to Egypt's loss against DR Congo," said Vitoria.

He praised his players for giving their best, adding: "This is not the end. This is football. There are moments of joy and moments of sadness."

Despite Vitoria's explanations, many Egyptian fans called for the coach's dismissal and the resignation of the EFA following the AFCON exit.

In an unprecedented move, the EFA issued an apology to the fans but that did not placate many.

Separation woes


Reports have emerged suggesting that the EFA board is preparing to part ways with Vitoria's contract in their Sunday meeting.

However, divorce procedures hit a snag on how to pay a termination penalty clause amounting to 600,000 euros.

The EFA is attempting to convince the Portuguese tactician to accept the payment in three instalments, according to various reports.

In tandem, other reports indicate that the Egyptian FA board has initiated discussions with Hervé Renard, the manager of the France women's national team, as a potential replacement for Vitoria.

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