AFCON Drama: Host Egypt sack Coach, EFA President, All Board Members Resign

AFCON Drama: Host Egypt sack Coach, EFA President, All Board Members Resign
0 comments, 08/07/2019, by , in CAF

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Egyptian Football Association (EFA) board members have announced their resignation from their posts and accepted the resignation of the Egyptian national team technical staff headed by Mexican coach Javier Aguirre after the Pharaohs’ elimination from the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The Pharaoh’s suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to South Africa in the knockout stage of the 2019 AFCON on Saturday when Thembinkosi Lorch netted the decisive goal five minutes from time after finishing off a neatly-worked breakaway, with Egypt paying the price for their defensive frailties as they poured forward en masse to settle the tie before extra time.

“This decision comes as a moral obligation, although the football association had given the national team full support,” EFA president Hany Abo Rida said in a statement early Sunday.

“All the technical staff are sacked after destroying the hopes of Egyptian football fans,” he added. Abo Rida confirmed he will remain in his post as head of the AFCON 2019 organising committee.

EFA board members announced their resignations separately in the early hours of Sunday.

Egypt coach Aguirre took responsibly for the shock elimination from AFCON. “I am the one responsible [for Egypt’s exit],” Aguirre told the post-match news conference.

The elimination marked Egypt’s worst-ever performance as AFCON hosts. They twice won the tournament as hosts in 1986 and 2006, losing in the final in 1959 and the semi-finals in 1974.

After his tale of redemption with Liverpool this season, Mohamed Salah was instead left in disbelief once more as Egypt crashed out of their own Africa Cup of Nations, an exit that triggered an immediate clearout within the country’s football association.

While Salah helped lead his club to a sixth European Cup triumph in June, a year on from an injury forcing him out of the final, he was powerless to stop the Pharaohs suffering humiliation on the international stage for the second time in 12 months.

The forward arrived here full of promise — his mood and fitness in sharp contrast to this time last June when his shoulder was injured as he was wrestled to the ground by Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos in the 3-1 loss in the 2018 Champions League final in Kiev.

He scored twice in four matches in Cairo, both goals struck with unerring precision, but rarely looked at his peak surrounded by an Egyptian supporting cast far more limited than he is accustomed to at club level.

But Salah also, uncharacteristically, made headlines off the pitch after offering a degree of support for disgraced team-mate Amr Warda, who was banished from the squad over sexual harassment allegations only to later be recalled — with Salah at the forefront of appeals for his reinstatement.

One of the most popular Twitter hashtags in the wake of Salah and others defending the midfielder was “National team of sexual harassers”

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