24 Feb. - 1 March 2000
Issue No. 470
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875|
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Gili in limbo
THE FUTURE of Egypt's French football coach, Gerard Gili, remains a mystery. Gili, who flew to Marseilles on a 10-day visit at the end of the ACN championship, is expected to return to Egypt on Monday -- with his lawyer. Neither Gili nor the Football Federation have announced whether he will continue with the team. What is certain is that he will be at the helm when Egypt meets Mauritius in an African World Cup qualifier in April.
Whether he stays or goes, the Frenchman, who led Marseilles to three consecutive league titles more than a decade ago, has been the focus of an intense media campaign ever since Egypt, the defending champion, was knocked out of the ACN tournament in the quarter-finals.
Critics have accused him of being unable to read a game properly and make the necessary tactical changes. In addition, the press has had a field day with his $35,000 a month salary -- the highest ever paid to the manager of an Egyptian national team and five times as much as his predecessor, Mahmoud El-Gohari. Gili, who took over the team in November, had been paid a six-month salary in advance.