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Egypt Minister of Sports criticises AFCON poor performance

Egypt Minister of Youth & Sports Ashraf Sobhi has criticized the national team performance in the AFCON opening game, encouraging the players for improvement.

The Pharaohs had a disappointing start to their Africa Cup of Nations journey, losing 1-0 to Nigeria in the Group stage opening game.

While the result was bad in itself, the poor performance is what caused a huge upset among the fans, as the game was completely controlled by The Super Eagles.

Minister of Youth & Sports Ashraf Sobhi gave his take on the game, the upcoming tournament clashes, and the national team’s goals.

“I am unsatisfied with the national team’s performance, we all are, and we have our logical reasons,” Sobhi said.

“We are looking for the competitive spirit in our players since the 2018 World Cup.

“At the 2019 AFCON, we did everything to help the national team win the tournament, but the result was disappointing, unlike the Olympic team results.

“Queiroz was hired to lead the team at a difficult time, we talked about priorities with him, World Cup qualification comes first, but Africa Cup of Nations is very important as well.

“I understand that the opening game poor performance doesn’t necessarily reflect what will happen next, but it’s a chance to work on our issues.

read also:AFCON: Troost-Ekong lauds Maduka Okoye’s qualities as Eagles goalkeeper

“After we qualify from the group stage, we will face stronger teams, and we will need to be at top form by then.”

Sobhi then sent an encouraging message to the players, saying: “This is not the national team performance we are used to, we won’t accept a result similar to 2019 one, the only thing we ask you to do is to use all your effort for the team.

“We are trying to support you in every way we can, if you go all-out with your clubs, you can do that with Egypt too, fight for your country.”

Regarding Queiroz and the possibility of the manager’s departure, Ashraf said: “Queiroz’s salary is $90,000 per month, it’s average, and we are not thinking about changing our coaching staff right now, but if we fail to qualify from the group stage we will consider it for sure.

After that, the minister briefly touched on Al Ahly’s FIFA Club World Cup crisis as they could be missing key national team players in the competition.

“Al Ahly will be representing Egypt in the Club World Cup, the national team and the clubs the represent the country are our priority,” the minister said.

“The Egyptian Football Association and Al Ahly should be in coordination, and in case we need to reach out to FIFA, we can do that through Hany Abu-Rida who might be able to help us solve the problem.”

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