Shehata in contention for Egypt job
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) said on Thursday that it was considering appointing former Pharaohs boss Hassan Shehata to the currently vacant Egypt post.
The announcement marks an abrupt, though unsurprising u-turn for the EFA, which has a history of settling for cheaper managerial options, regardless of qualifications.
More recently, EFA members repeatedly spoke of negotiations with reputable foreign coaches over the past several months.
“We were hoping to proceed very soon, but if the league remains suspended there will be no reason to hire a foreign tactician who doesn’t know the Egyptian players and won’t have the opportunity to see them in action in order to make his choices,” EFA vice president Hassan Farid said on a local radio program.
The justification for the change-of-heart may sound dubious to many, considering managers rely mostly on video for analyzing players, not live attendance or broadcasts.
For his part, Shehata had a sterling career with Egypt, winning back-to-back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations titles between 2006 and 2010. Though many praise Shehata for his unprecedented success, others point to the generation of footballers that were at his disposal, arguably the best in Egypt’s storied history.
His task this time around would be considerably more challenging, with mostly younger, less experienced options.
While suggesting that the EFA has changed its mind, Farid also claimed that negotiations with Frenchman and current Ivory Coast manager Hervé Renard were still underway.
“We are in advanced talks with Renard, but we might opt for a national coach who will surely be more accustomed to the players and these circumstances,” Farid said.
“Personally I want Hassan Shehata and that seems to be a general opinion among board members,” he concluded.
Opting for either an Egyptian manager or a non-Egyptian journeyman saves the EFA hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars. It’s unclear how that difference in money is used.
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