Egypt authorities start investigation into Football Association after World Cup failure

Eslam Omar , Monday 2 Jul 2018

Hani Abu Reida
Hani Abu Reida, president of the Egyptian Football Federation, speaks during a press conference in the capital Cairo (Photo: AFP)

Egypt's Sports and Youth Ministry announced that it – assisted by a committee from the state accountability authority – started investigations on Monday to "review the work" of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) in the wake of the national team's failure at the 2018 World Cup.

"The committee has headed directly to the Football Association to start its mission," the ministry said.

The EFA, under the presidency of Hani Abo Rida, welcomed the investigation, which Abo Rida had called for during a press conference last week.

"The association has demanded that the authorities review all the accusations stirred up in the media," the EFA stated Monday, demanding that regulating authorities "evaluate media coverage" of the event.

During the press conference held on Wednesday, Abo Rida dismissed all accusations against the EFA board, adding that the board "cannot resign while facing accusations of financial violation."

Parliament's Youth and Sports Committee, under the leadership of Farag Amer, has demanded an investigation into what it described as a "humiliating exit" and "disgraceful appearance" at the World Cup.

The national team failed to qualify for the round of 16 at the World Cup; a target that had been set by the association itself, raising the expectations of the football-obsessed country before the team lost all three of their group games.

After finally qualifying for the world's most prestigious football event after a 28-year absence, the Pharaohs frequently stated their aim to reach the knockout stage.

The nation was shocked by a toothless defensive show from their overestimated team, with responsibility for attack weighing heavily on the injured shoulder of Mohamed Salah.

However, the team, who were once among FIFA's top ranking teams during Hassan Shehata's era, broke an international record after 45-year-old goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary became the oldest player to ever perform at the World Cup.

Egypt, who currently rank 45th globally, lost 1-0 against Uruguay in the opener before being stunned by a 3-1 loss to Russia, who rank 70th worldwide. Egypt then totally collapsed against 67th-ranked Saudi Arabia to earn bottom place in the group A table.

(For more sports news and updates and a special World Cup 2018 coverage, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports)

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