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Hassan Shehata tops Syrian FA managerial shortlist
Hassan Shehata has emerged to be one of the top candidates of a long shortlist to take over the Syrian national team.
Despite their humiliating 5-0 defeat to Japan last month, Syria have qualified to the third round of the Asian qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The Syrian FA are looking to replace Fajr Ibrahim, who left his post as manager following the 5-0 defeat against Japan.
Rumours were circulating that the Syrian FA were also interested in former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho, with a letter of intent released by the FA, however talks have since been dismissed.
“They published on their website the letter they sent to my agent. That one I have to say is true, but I have to say in a very special way we said we were not interested in the job,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.
In addition, Egyptian legend Hossam Hassan was reportedly linked with the job, however the rumours turned out to be false. Former Bahrain and Iraq coach Adnan Hamad, alongside Shehata, made the shortlist as well and he is considered to be another major candidate to take over, KingFut understands.
Syria’s next match in the World Cup qualifiers is scheduled to be played on the 1st of September. Their task won’t be easy at all, following the draw for the third round of qualifying yesterday evening.
The Syrians have been drawn alongside Iran, China, Qatar and South Korea in their qualifying group, with only the top two from each group gaining automatic qualification to the finals. The two 3rd placed teams also still have a chance, with both featuring in a playoff match to decide a tie against a CONCACAF nation for a spot in the finals.
Should Shehata take over the job, it will be his second job as manager of an international team, with his famous spell with the Egyptian National team seeing the Pharaohs lift an unprecedented 3 CAF African Cup of Nations titles in a row.