Former Egypt manager says people not sold on coaching candidates, suggests Eastern European

Mohsen Saleh

Former Egypt and Ismaily manager Mohsen Saleh says the delay in announcing a new Egypt manager suggests there are reservations regarding the candidates.

Egypt’s Football Association (EFA) initially planned to name a new coach a month ago, but the team is still without a successor to Javier Aguirre, who was fired after the Pharaohs’ Round of 16 elimination from the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in July.

“The delay in announcing who will be the new Egyptian national team manager to this point means that there are reservations with the nominated names, and fear that they will not be able to achieve the desired goals as well as fear over the public and media reaction to that,” said Saleh, who coached Egypt at AFCON 2004 in Tunisia.

“Since [the EFA] is not giving the green light [to one of the candidates], searching for an Eastern European coach would suit us best, like a Czech, Serb, or Croat,” he added.

The EFA had been negotiating with an Eastern European – specifically Bosnian Vahid Halilhodžić – before failing to meet his financial demands and settling for Aguirre.

Halilhodžić became available again when Aguirre was fired, but the Moroccan Football Federation maneuvered quickly to secure his services.

The EFA previously announced that the Pharaohs’ next manager would be Egyptian; naming Hossam Hasasn, Talaat Yousef, Hossam El-Badry, Ehab Galal, and Hassan Shehata as final candidates.

El-Badry, former Ahly manager, was thought to be the favorite before a public backlash apparently quelled interest.

Several reports suggested Hassan Shehata would be the choice, leading some to believe that the EFA leaked the information to gauge public reaction.

The EFA said a new coach would be named “in one week” three separate times over the past month.

Qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup is underway in Africa, with Egypt not playing its first match until the next round in March.


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