Egypt axe falls on Vitoria

Egypt axe falls on Vitoria
Rui Vitoria, coach of Egypt during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations Egypt Press Conference at the Palais de la Culture in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on 13 January 2024 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by Thando Mpembe

Monday Feb 05, 2024. 13:44

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) has announced the departure of Rui Vitoria as head coach of the national team in the wake of their disappointing performance at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Pharaohs were eliminated in the round of 16 after losing to DR Congo 8-7 on penalties as they exited the tournament after failing to win a single game in Ivory Coast.

Egypt, who reached the final of the 2021 edition, finished second in Group B with just three points, having played out to three successive 2-2 draws against Mozambique, Ghana and Cape Verde.

Vitoria’s side were then held to a 1-1 draw by the Leopards in the last 16 and crashed out of the continental showpiece via the dreaded shootout, leading the Egyptian fans and pundits criticising the Portuguese tactician for the team’s failings.

The EFA met to discuss the future of Vitoria on Sunday and it was decided that his contract would be terminated prematurely. He had signed a four-year deal to take charge of the seven-time African champions on 12 July 2022.

“The Board of Directors of the Egyptian Football Association, following its meeting today to discuss the technical and administrative reports regarding the national team’s participation in the 2023 African Nations Championship (AFCON) in Cote d’Ivoire 2023, decided to thank the Portuguese Rui Vitoria, the coach of the Egyptian national team, and his assistant staff, while studying the biographies of foreign coaches and presenting them at the next meeting,” the EFA said in a statement.

“The Council decided to approve the appointment of Mohamed Youssef as general coach of the first Egyptian national team until a foreign technical director is selected and the rest of the staff is formed.”

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