Renard and Desabre short-listed to replace axed Vitoria as Egypt coach

Mahmoud Elassal , Monday 5 Feb 2024

A few hours after terminating the contract of Portuguese coach Rui Vitoria, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) announced the short-listed candidates to take charge of the national team.

French coache Herve Renard


EFA board member Ehab El-Komy revealed on Monday that French coaches Herve Renard and Sebastien Desabre are among the candidates due to their impressive achievements.

"Renard is one of the top candidates for the Egypt national team job," El-Komy said on TV.

"We contacted Renard, and he has shown interest in leading the national team. We consider him a big name given his great achievements in Africa," the EFA board member said.

Renard, 55, boasts an impressive history in Africa. He became the first coach to win two Africa Cup of Nations titles, Zambia in 2012 and Cote d'Ivoire in 2015.

He also led the Morocco national team to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, their first appearance since 1998.

Additionally, he guided Saudi Arabia to secure a place in the 2022 FIFA World Cup by defeating heavyweight Argentina 2-1 in their opening match of the prestigious tournament in Qatar.

However, Saudi Arabia lost their other two matches against Poland and Mexico, resulting in elimination from the group stage.

DR Congo’s Desabre on the radar

DR Congo coach Desabre, 47, is also a candidate to lead the Egypt national team.

The final decision regarding Desabre's appointment will be announced after the conclusion of the ongoing 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

El-Komy confirmed that Desabre is being considered due to his positive results in the tournament and his previous experience with African and Egyptian teams.

"We are striving to reach a decision that fulfils the ambitions of the Egyptian people and develops Egyptian football," he added.

Desabre has a recognized history of leading African teams, including Ivorian ASEC Mimosas, Cameroon's Coton Sport, and Tunisia's Esperance de Tunis.

He was the head coach of Ismaily in the Egyptian Premier League in 2017 before joining Pyramids FC in 2019.

Desabre led Uganda national team in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations but was eliminated in the round of 16.

He was appointed coach of DR Congo in 2022 with the goal of guiding them to the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Currently, he is leading the Leopards to the semifinals at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

Egypt show the door for Vitoria

Egypt has officially parted ways with coach Rui Vitoria following the team's disappointing performance in the Africa Cup of Nations.

The seven-time African champions were eliminated from the tournament in the round of 16 after a dramatic 8-7 loss to DR Congo in a penalty shootout.

Vitoria, 53, faced criticism following Egypt's underwhelming performances throughout the tournament, as the team failed to secure a victory in any of their four matches leading up to their elimination.

Vitoria took charge of the Egyptian national team in July 2022, signing a contract that was set to keep him with the Pharaohs until the summer of 2026.

During his tenure, he achieved 12 victories, five draws, and suffered only one defeat.

The EFA has appointed former Ahly coach Mohamed Youssef as the interim manager for the Egyptian national team.

Youssef, 53, brings a wealth of experience to the role, having previously guided Ahly to victory in the CAF Champions League in 2013.

He has also had coaching stints with Petrojet, NBE Club, Future FC, and Iraqi club Al-Shorta.

"Youssef is one of the familiar names thanks to his achievements with the best team in Africa, Ahly, and he will be responsible for the team until a new tactician is appointed. We have a friendly tournament in March in the UAE, so we need to be ready for it," stated the EFA board member.

While Youssef will temporarily take charge, it is expected that he will transition into an assistant role once a new foreign coach is appointed to lead the team.

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