Egypt's head coach Bob Bradley (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt manager Bob Bradley has spoken about the Pharaohs' preparations for the World Cup qualifier against Zimbabwe on 26 March, his recent controversial statements on politics, the resumption of the Egyptian league and his co-ordination with the youth team coach.
“We're planning to start our pre-Zimbabwe camp on March 18th, and have a friendly on the 22nd that can prepare us for the 26th,” the American coach said during a press conference on Wednesday at the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) headquarters.
The former US manager also spoke about the Egyptian Premier League, which is due to start on Saturday after one year of suspension following the Port Said Stadium violence.
“We didn't announce the players list so we get a chance to make sure the players are ready by watching the league matches,” the 56-year-old said.
The league resumption is still uncertain because of ongoing unrest in the country.
“Tomorrow is a day when we should think about what happened over the last year, and remember the people who lost their lives,” he added.
Egypt, who delivered subpar performances in two successive friendly games last month against Ghana and Ivory Coast in the UAE, will host Zimbabwe in March in their third match in the World Cup qualifiers group stage.
The seven-time African champions top Group G with six points from two games, three ahead of second-placed Guinea. Zimbabwe and Mozambique hold one point each.
I never criticised President Morsi, says Bradley
Bradley started his speech by “rebuffing rumours” over the interview he gave to ESPN on Saturday, a few hours after a court verdict sentenced 21 fans to death for their role in last year’s Port Said disaster.
“I never criticised the current leadership or the current president. I was explaining some of the people's emotions here,” he said.
“Since I'm here, I always try helping the country either by visiting hospitals or trying to deliver a message about tourism.
“Me and my wife love this country and love its people, and will continue supporting it as long as we stay here.
“I never get any instructions from the American Embassy here, and there's no special contact about anything.”
Bradley won't attend U20 African Championship
Bradley also spoke about his last meeting with U20 head coach Rabea Yassin.
“The meeting with Rabea Yassin was very good. He's happy his players are performing well,” Bradley said.
“I won't be watching the U20 African Cup from the stadiums as it will be very close to our Zimbabwe World Cup qualifier.”
The young Pharaohs were drawn in Group A of the African Championship along with hosts Algeria, Ghana and Benin. They will play a friendly against Nigeria this month.
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