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Egypt FA to decide Gharib’s fate Wednesday
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) will hold a board meeting on Wednesday to decide the fate of embattled national team manager Shawky Gharib.
Egypt sealed its third successive failure to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations yesterday, losing 2-1 to a Tunisian team that had already qualified for next year’s finals in Equatorial Guinea – a dubious distinction that may cost Gharib his job.
Gharib, who has a decorated record in Egyptian football at the youth level and as an assistant in the senior circuit, was given the reigns as Pharaohs coach after ex-manager Bob Bradley was sacked for failing to guide Egypt to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Among the objectives outlined for Gharib by the EFA was qualification to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
The 55-year-old tactician faced a number of challenges as coach, with players comprising the 2006-2010 teams that won an unprecedented three straight Africa Cup of Nations titles retiring en mass, inexperience among their replacements, and domestic football disruptions brought about by political instability.
To many, Gharib was not without blame either though, omitting a number of players plying their trade in Portugal in his roster selections, publicly responding to criticism from fans and the media, and making wholesale changes to the team’s tactics between matches.
According to EFA spokesman Azmy Megahed, the focus of Wednesday’s meeting will be getting Egypt back on track for a place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
“[We] will hold a meeting on November 26 to decide the roadmap for the future of Egyptian football,” Megahed said.
“We will be targeting the World Cup. We won enough African championships.”
The qualifying format for the next World Cup has yet to be decided on, but it’s likely that Egypt won’t play another competitive football match until late next year at the earliest.