Egypt sack coach Rui Vitoria after AFCON disappointment

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Africa Cup of Nations – Round of 16 – Egypt v DR Congo – Laurent Pokou Stadium, San Pedro, Ivory Coast – January 28, 2024 Egypt coach Rui Vitoria reacts REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

Egypt sacked Portuguese coach Rui Vitoria on Sunday, a week after their disappointing last-16 exit at the Africa Cup of Nations in the Ivory Coast, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) announced.

Vitoria’s deal was supposed to run until the 2026 World Cup but Egypt’s dismal Cup of Nations campaign, which culminated in a shootout loss to the Democratic Republic of Congo following a 1-1 draw last Sunday, brought a premature end to his tenure.

The EFA said the 53-year-old and his entire backroom staff had been relieved of their duties. It also said that Mohamed Youssef, a former coach of Al Ahly who led the Egyptian giants to the African Champions League title in 2013, would take over on an interim basis.

“The association will also study the CVs of (some) foreign coaches,” the EFA added in a statement.

Vitoria was named Egypt’s boss in 2022, inheriting a side reeling from a drastic slump in form that followed their run to the Cup of Nations final in Cameroon a few months earlier.

Things initially looked promising, with Egypt showing marked improvement in attack and comfortably booking their place at the Cup of Nations finals in the Ivory Coast. They also won their opening two games of the World Cup qualifiers.

However, they produced some lacklustre displays in the Ivory Coast, making it to the last 16 by virtue of three straight 2-2 draws before DR Congo ended their hopes of winning a record-extending eighth Cup of Nations title.

Vitoria became the latest casualty of the tournament, following the departures of Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi, Gambia’s Tom Saintfiet, Ghana’s Chris Hughton, Tunisia’s Jalel Kadri, Tanzania’s Adel Amrouche and Ivory Coast boss Jean-Louis Gasset.

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