Egypt has appointed its legendary striker Hossam Hassan as the new technical director of the national team, following the dismissal of Portuguese coach Rui Vitoria. The Pharaohs, who have won the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) a record seven times, were eliminated in the round of 16 by DR Congo on penalties.
Hossam Hassan, who is the country’s all-time top scorer with 67 goals in 173 international matches, will be assisted by his twin brother Ibrahim Hassan, who has been named as the team manager. The duo have played together for Egypt and several clubs, including Cairo giants Al Ahly and Zamalek. They have also coached together at various Egyptian teams, such as Al Masry, Smouha, and Pyramids.
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) announced the appointments on its official X account on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, after a meeting of its board of directors. The EFA said that the decision was based on the recommendations of the technical committee, which was formed to evaluate the performance of the national team and the coaching staff.
Hassan faces World Cup qualifiers challenge
Hossam Hassan, who won three AFCON titles as a player in 1986, 1998, and 2006, will have the task of leading Egypt to the 2026 World Cup in North America. The Pharaohs have only qualified for the global tournament three times, the last being in 2018, when they failed to win a single game in the group stage.
Hassan’s first competitive matches will be the World Cup qualifiers against Burkina Faso and Guinea-Bissau in June 2024. Egypt currently tops its group with six points from two games, having beaten Libya and Angola under Vitoria in November 2023.
Vitoria sacked after AFCON disappointment
Vitoria, who was appointed as Egypt’s coach in August 2023, was sacked on Sunday, January 28, 2024, after the Pharaohs’ early exit from the AFCON, which they hosted. Egypt, who were among the favorites to win the continental title, drew 1-1 with DR Congo in the knockout stage, before losing 4-3 on penalties.
The EFA said that it terminated Vitoria’s contract by mutual consent and thanked him for his efforts. Vitoria, who previously coached Benfica and Al Nassr, had a record of seven wins, two draws, and one loss in his 10 games in charge of Egypt.