Our national team needs a long-term plan like Algeria and Senegal: Egypt’s football director

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Tuesday 8 Feb 2022

Egypt’s national football team needs a long-term development project like Algeria and Senegal and a focus on broadening the base of Egyptian players abroad, Pharaohs’ football director Wael Gomaa told media outlets.

Wael Gomaa
Egypt s assistant coach Wael Gomaa attends a press conference at the Olembe stadium in Yaounde on February 5, 2022. AFP

The record seven-time African champions missed out on a record-extending eighth African Cup of Nations (AFCON) title on Sunday after losing to Senegal 2-4 in penalty shootout. 

“Continuity in a national team development plan is a must instead of  replacement and renewal measures,” Gomaa, who took charge of the technical staff headed by Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz last September, told ON Time Sports TV channel on Tuesday.

“Algeria’s team has been undergoing development under coach Djamel Belmadi’s leadership since 2018. The same can be said about Morocco and Senegal’s teams, who also have long term development plans.”

“Here in Egypt, the plan is scrapped once the national team fails in any major challenge. We don’t have continuity. We need a long-term plan to build a strong team,” the veteran Egypt and Ahly defender added.

Senegal managed to develop their team under the guidance of coach Aliou Cissé, who was appointed in 2015 and managed to guide the team to reach the AFCON’s final in 2019 and also win this edition’s title.

Morocco’s national team is also enjoying a stable development plan under the guidance of Bosnian coach Vahid Halilhodzic, who has been at the helm since 2019.

These three nations have been scouting for European-based talents who are eligible to play for their national teams and recruited them.

Under the guidance of the 68-year-old Queiroz, Egypt secured a place at the final qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, which will be played against Senegal in a two-legged form on 24 and 29 March.

Gomaa stressed that the national team’s door is always open for any new players, stressing that broadening the base of Egyptian players in Europe will be a key factor in developing the team in the future.

“I prefer the idea of a special committee to follow up on foreign-based Egyptian players. Egypt should be an exporting country for players. We should be exporting at least 300 or 400 players to Europe every year,” he said.

“Also, allowing Egyptian league clubs to have five foreign players for each is harmful for the national team as it limits our pool of native talents,” he concluded.

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