Belgian coach Leekens snubs Egypt to stay with Tunisia

Ahram Online , Friday 27 Feb 2015


Veteran Belgian coach Georges Leekens has turned down an offer from Egypt and opted to remain as Tunisia's coach, the Tunisian Football Federation (FTF) said on Friday.

Leekens has been one of the favourites to take over at Egypt following the dismissal of Shawky Gharib, according to Egyptian reports.

"Coach Leekens has received an offer from Egypt but he said he wants to remain in charge of the Tunisian national team," FTF President Wadie Jary was quoted as saying by German news agency DPA.

"The salary Egypt offered him is more than triple the salary he is earning with Tunisia, but he opted to stay put."

Leekens, 65, was named as Tunisia's coach in March 2014 and was retained despite the team's controversial African Cup of Nations exit at the hands of hosts Equatorial Guinea in the quarter final last month.

Egypt are on the lookout for a new boss after Gharib was sacked following their stunning failure to qualify for the Nations Cup for the third time in a row.

They have drawn up a shortlist that mainly included foreign coaches, including Frenchman Herve Renard who also snubbed their offer after leading the Ivory Coast to their second Nations Cup triumph following a superb run in Equatorial Guinea.

Egyptian reports said should the team's negotiations with European managers fall through, Hassan Shehata will likely return to the Pharaohs' dugout.

The 65-year-old, who is currently in charge of Egyptian club Arab Contractors, is arguably one of the best coaches in the country's history, having steered the team to an unprecedented hat-trick of Nations Cup titles in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

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