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Egypt Sacks Coach Vitoria Following AFCON Exit
- Updated: February 5, 2024
Egypt Parts Ways with Coach Rui Vitoria After AFCON Disappointment
Egypt’s football association announced the dismissal of coach Rui Vitoria following the national team’s disappointing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaign. Egypt, seven-time African champions, suffered a round-of-16 exit after a penalty shootout loss to Congo DR on January 28, following a 1-1 draw.
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) expressed gratitude to Rui Vitoria and his backroom staff, acknowledging their contributions. The decision to part ways was made after a meeting to evaluate the administrative and technical reports of the national team’s performance at the 2023 AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire.
Mohamed Youssef, a former player for the Pharaohs and coach of domestic giants Al Ahly, will take over on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is found. The EFA revealed plans to consider foreign coaches, with their biographies to be presented at the next meeting. A foreign technical director will be chosen, and the remaining coaching staff will be assembled.
Despite reaching the finals in the previous AFCON in 2022, Egypt’s performance in the latest edition fell short of expectations. The team failed to secure a victory in any of their four matches, earning three points in the group stage with draws against Mozambique and Cape Verde. The campaign was further marred by the absence of star forward Mohamed Salah due to injury.
Salah, a crucial part of Egypt’s attacking prowess, suffered an injury during the 2-2 draw with Ghana on January 18. He subsequently returned to Liverpool for treatment, unsure if he could rejoin the team in Ivory Coast should they progress. The team, however, faced DR Congo in San Pédro last Sunday without Salah, resulting in their exit from the tournament.
Rui Vitoria, who managed to avoid significant defeats during his nearly 21 months in charge, was under contract with the Egyptian Federation until 2026. His coaching career spans two decades, with previous stints at clubs like Benfica, Spartak Moscow, and Pacos Ferreira.
The decision to part ways with Vitoria aligns with a trend seen in other African teams that exited the tournament early. Algeria, Tunisia, Ghana, and Gambia are among the nations that have changed head coaches in the aftermath of their AFCON eliminations. Additionally, Ivory Coast, the tournament hosts, appointed Emerse Fae on an interim basis after their group-stage campaign, following the exit of Jean-Louis Gasset. The EFA’s move signals a commitment to reevaluate the coaching staff and make strategic decisions to enhance the national team’s future performances.
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By- Sahiba Suri