Hossam Hassan thinks national team coach Bob Bradley is not a genuine American, invoking the trademark controversial remarks the legendary striker used to make.
The Egypt all-time leading scorer has kept a low profile since February’s Port Said disaster. He was in charge of Masry when thousands of their supporters stormed the pitch following the end of a league game, sparking deadly clashes with Ahly fans that left dozens dead and hundreds injured.
With domestic football activities at a standstill due to lingering security concerns in Egypt, Hassan opted to work as a TV football analyst. His new job gave him the green light to stir controversy in the same manner that he used to dominate headlines for the wrong reasons during his otherwise highly successful football career.
“Maybe Bradley is one of those who immigrated to the United States, he is not genuine American. I find this clear from his accent,” Hassan, who scored 69 goals in 169 international appearances, said in an interview with Al-Hayat TV.
“I don’t know why Bradley takes part in Egyptian demonstrations, I learned that this happened more than once. Is it part of a scheme by the United States embassy or what?”
Bradley has been largely apolitical since taking over at Egypt following the departure of Hassan Shehata in November last year, but was criticized by some media figures and ex-footballers for hinting that the ruling military had a hand in the Port Said tragedy.
On the football level, Egypt made a fine start to their World Cup qualifying campaign, easing past Mozambique with a 2-0 home win in their opening Group G game before claiming a thrilling 3-2 victory at Guinea.
However, Egypt risk missing out on an African Nations Cup place for the second year running after suffering a stunning 3-2 defeat at home by Central Africa in the first leg of their qualifier. The second leg takes place in Bangui on 30 June.
“Choosing Bradley as Egypt’s coach was wrong. You can bring an American coach in some other sports like swimming and athletics, but not football,” Hassan added.
“An Egyptian coach who knows the players well would have been a much better choice.”
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