Sunday,22 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1169, (24 - 30 October 2013)
Sunday,22 July, 2018
Issue 1169, (24 - 30 October 2013)

Ahram Weekly

Bradley stays

Despite the first leg debacle, the American coach of the national team is to lead Egypt
in the return match against Ghana. Inas Mazhar reports

Al-Ahram Weekly

In its meeting on Monday, the Egyptian Football Association ended all speculation regarding the future of the national team head coach Bob Bradley. The American is to stay until his contract expires on 19 November, the day Egypt meets Ghana in the second leg of the World Cup qualifiers. During the meeting, the EFA board members discussed a report issued by the head of the delegation Seif Zaher and all events surrounding the match and the 6-1 defeat of last week in Kumasi which all but ended Egypt’s hopes of going to Brazil.
With Bradley refusing to resign, the EFA decided not to force him to do so or else they would have to pay compensation. The American is determined to stay for the second leg which Egypt must win 5-0.
According to the EFA chairman Gamal Allam, the EFA cannot sack Bradley at this stage with only one match to go on his contract. “It sounds illogical. According to the contract he signed more than two years ago, it expires by the end of the last game of the 2014 World Cup qualifications whatever the date is. In the case here, 19 November is his last game.
“In case the coach is sacked anytime during his contract, he should be paid six months’ salary as compensation. Whether he was sacked before or now doesn’t matter; we will still have to pay him LE3 million which is an amount we can’t afford right now,” Allam said.
EFA board member Sahar Al-Hawari told Al-Ahram Weekly that it was impossible to sack Bradley or replace him with another coach. “No coach would want to come in such a critical situation and replace Bradley in the second leg match as it is a huge responsibility. In addition we can’t even sack him and ask the assistant coach Diaa Al-Sayed to take charge because according to the contract if Bradley is to be sacked then all his assistants goes with him.
“During the meeting, we contacted him and he was very understanding. He held himself responsible for the loss and for squandering the Egyptian dream of qualifying for the World Cup and said he would be at the helm in the second leg match to regain the pride, reputation and image of Egyptian football,” Al-Hawari said
The EFA released an apology from Bradley on its official website on Monday. In the statement, the American said he was sorry for the defeat “that has disappointed the Egyptian people” and for failing to fulfil their dream of going to the World Cup.
He said he had “really wanted” to make this dream come true. However, according to the statement, he said he would do his best, together with the players and his technical staff in the coming match, to lead the team to a better game and result.
“Given all that, we have accepted this and are waiting for him to submit his report,” continued Al-Hawari. “The EFA board has also agreed to continue supporting the Pharaohs in their final quest with all the facilities needed for their training according to the available resources. We even suggested bringing in a psychiatrist to help the team overcome the loss and prepare them for the final game.”
Accordingly, the Pharaohs are expected to play a few friendly games as part of their preparations for the final match against Ghana. Prince Ali Al-Hussein of Jordan, who is also head of the Jordanian Football Federation, has offered the Pharaohs a training camp in Jordan where they would play two teams — Jordan and an African country. The Jordanian team is coached by the famous Egyptian football Twins Hossam and Ibrahim Hassan.
The second leg match is scheduled to be played at the Military Air Defence Stadium in the Fifth District on Cairo’s outskirts. Football fans will be allowed in to attend the game. Out of security concerns, most games played in Egypt after the 2011 revolution have been without spectators.

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