Halilhodzic, Sanchez Flores among four candidates for Egypt job

Ahram Online , Tuesday 24 Jul 2018

Bosnian manager Vahid Halilhodzic Reuters

Bosnian manager Vahid Halilhodzic and Spaniard Quique Sanchez Flores are among four candidates to take over at Egypt following the departure of Hector Cuper, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) said on Tuesday.

Mexican manager Javier Aguirre and Colombian Luis Pinto are the other managers in a four-man shortlist drawn up by the EFA, board member Ahmed Megahed told a news conference.

"We have not yet specified a date to announce the new coach but the committee that is commissioned to study the CVs will ends its job at the end of next week, after which the EFA board will convene to make a decision," Megahed added.  

According to local media, Halilhodzic is favoured by the EFA to replace Cuper, the Argentinean manager who lifted Egypt to their first World Cup finals since 1990 but left after a nightmarish campaign in Russia.

Halilhodzic's vast experience in Africa makes him a frontrunner to occupy Egypt's hot seat.  

The 66-year-old led Morocco's Raja Casablanca to the African Champions League title in 1997 and steered Algeria to a place at the last 16 in the 2014 World Cup before they narrowly lost to eventual champions Germany.

He was also in charge of the Ivory Coast at the 2010 African Cup of Nations but was dismissed before the Elephants' World Cup campaign several months later in South Africa. Halilhodzic's last tenure was with Japan earlier this year and he was shown the door just two months before the World Cup.

Aguirre, who managed Mexico's national team and took charge of several Spanish clubs including Atletico Madrid, told Egyptian football website FilGoal that he would be "honoured" to lead the Pharaohs.

Although Flores, who won the Europa League with Atletico Madrid in 2010, does not have any experience in African football, he had stints with fellow Arab sides Ahli and Ain in the United Arab Emirates.

Should the EFA fails in its attempts to bring in a foreign coach, it will likely turn to either Masry coach Hossam Hassan or former Ahly boss Hossam El-Badry.

Hassan, Egypt's all-time leading scorer and one of the country's iconic footballers, made no secret of his desire to take charge of the national team. He is credited for making Masry a usual contender for a top-four finish in the Egyptian Premier League.

El-Badry is also one of the most decorated Egyptian coaches, having won with Ahly several titles in three spells, including two league accolades and one Champions League crown.

The EFA is racing against time to pick a new coach, with the team facing Niger in their next African Cup of Nations qualifier in September.

Egypt lost all of their three games at the World Cup against Uruguay, hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia to bow out at the group stage.

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