Minister of Youth and Sports of Egypt Ashraf Sobhy has commented on the future of Rui Vitoria and the possibility of Carlos Queiroz’s return.
Egypt crashed out of the 2023 AFCON after losing to DR Congo on penalties to bring their campaign to a catastrophic end.
The Pharaohs qualified for the knockout stages after a series of 2-2 draws in Group B against Mozambique, Ghana, and Cape Verde respectively, before playing out another draw against DR Congo.
Overall, Rui Vitoria’s men couldn’t win a single game in Ivory Coast and returned to Egypt with four draws, which put the coach’s future in doubt.
Speaking after the exit, Minister of Youth and Sports Sobhy said: “Football is a general mood that captures our attention, and unless it satisfies our vision as a people, we must certainly investigate it and understand the reasons.
“Egypt exited the 2018 World Cup with sadness, and it was necessary to quickly reassess the situation. In 2019, we hosted the AFCON on our soil, and the team did not satisfy our pride. There was an evaluation of the situation.
“In the 2019 AFCON, Carlos Queiroz came within six months and managed to adjust the overall shape, and guided the team to the final. We advised the EFA that this coach should not leave, but the decision was made.
“There will be elections for the EFA to take place after the Olympic Games in July and anyone with a good resume should come forward. But dismissing the EFA right now will lead us into an inevitable vortex.
“In 2024, there are World Cup qualifiers, and next year, in 2025, there will be the AFCON in Morocco. Preparation must be very good, and the next EFA will take over at the end of 2024.
“In my personal opinion, we had one successful experience with a local coach, Hassan Shehata, and before him, Mahmoud El-Gohary, who was an exceptional coach. However, recently we tried that with Hossam El-Badry and Ehab Gamal, but it didn’t work. So, I don’t think there will be a local coach.
“The public opinion that is not convinced of Rui Vitoria is respected because as long as there is consensus, it is a valid opinion. We support this, but we must give a chance to hear the justifications of the coach and the form of the contract between the FA and the coach. But this should be done quickly.”
When asked if Queiroz can return to take over Egypt, he said: “All possibilities are open, but there must be experts. My convictions are that Queiroz, in six months, was able to change the form of the team and reach the AFCON final.
“I said at that time that Queiroz should continue, but the EFA terminated his contract and brought a new one. The current coaching staff has not presented anything satisfactory, so there must be accountability from the EFA, and we, as a ministry, will provide suitable conditions for all national teams.”