Vitoria silent on future with Egypt following AFCON exit

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Monday 29 Jan 2024

Coach Rui Vitoria refused to talk about his future with Egypt’s football team after exiting the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) on Sunday.

Egypte s Portuguese head coach Rui Vitoria. AFP

Record seven-time champions Egypt were knocked out of the AFCON on Sunday after losing a penalty shootout 8-7 against DR Congo.

The 53-year old Portuguese tactician came heavily under fire after a series of poor performances since the prestigious tournament start that left the team drawing in three successive games in the group stage before losing to DR Congo.

“It isn’t the right time for rushed decisions. We will think before taking any action,” the coach said in the press conference after the game.

“This isn’t the end. We didn’t expect the loss and bad luck was the main reason behind the defeat,” he added.

A tense last-16 clash finished 1-1 after extra time with Meschack Elia scoring on the 37th minute for DR Congo and Mostafa Mohamed equalizing in first-half added time from a penalty.

Missing injured key stars Mohamed Salah, Mohamed El-Shenawy and Emam Ashour, the Pharaohs failed to prove their worth, losing hope for returning home with the eighth precious African title.

Vitoria defended his players, stressing that the team was well prepared for the tournament.

 “My players were very good, but this is football, sometimes you face good times and other times there are sad ones,” the Egypt coach said.

“We prepared this team for the AFCON, but sometimes you exert your best effort then the result is unexpected. We should look forward for our next targets,” he concluded.

Amid calls from Egyptians for the sacking of the coach and the resignation of the football association board after the AFCON exit, the country’s football governing body has not taken any decisions.

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