Egypt coach Bradley confident Barakat to reverse retirement decision

Hatem Maher, Wednesday 22 Feb 2012

Ahly team member Mohamed Barakat will resume playing, says Egypt's national coach at Wednesday training session, despite midfielder's plans to retire after witnessing country's worst football disaster

Mohamed Barakat

Egypt's national team football coach Bob Bradley said he is convinced Mohamed Barakat will retract his decision to retire in the wake of the Port Said disaster, after attending the Ahly player's training session on Wednesday.

The evergreen midfielder, traumatised by the deaths of over 74 football supporters after Al-Masry fans invaded the pitch in an Egyptian Premier League game against Ahly, was determined to hang up his boots.

"Barakat is one of the best players in Egypt. He is excused for thinking about retirement following that tragedy," the American coach said. "However, I’m convinced that Barakat just needs time and he will eventually resume playing. I know that Ahly’s technical staff is trying to pressure him into changing his mind."

The 35 year old would not be available for international duty in any case, having announced his retirement from international football following Egypt’s failure to qualify for the 2010 World Cup.

Egypt will hold a training camp in Qatar without the Ahly players, who are still emotionally affected after witnessing the country’s worst football disaster.

"I didn’t talk with Ahly’s technical staff about the possible return of the players to the national team. This is not the suitable time for that given the players’ psychological state," Bradley added.

"I will choose the right time to talk with the players about that. I just offered my condolences today."

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