Egypt fires Rui Vitoria following AFCON disappointment

Egypt fires Rui Vitoria following AFCON disappointment
Rui Vitoria saclked by Egypt after AFCON disappointment. Credit: Reuters

Egypt has officially severed ties with Portuguese tactician Rui Vitoria after their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) disappointment in Ivory Coast.

The decision comes after the record-holders suffered a round of 16 elimination through a penalty shootout defeat to DR Congo.

Egypt’s struggles in the tournament included three successive 2-2 draws in the group stage against Mozambique, Ghana, and Cape Verde, compounded by an early injury to their talismanic captain Mohamed Salah.

The Egypt Football Association (EFA) announced the dismissal of Vitoria and his entire backroom staff following a meeting of their board of directors.

In a statement on Sunday, the EFA appointed Mohamed Youssef, a former Al Ahly coach, as Egypt’s interim manager. The EFA also expressed their intention to “study the CVs of [some] foreign coaches” as they seek a permanent replacement.

Vitoria, who took charge in 2022 with a four-year deal, experienced early success, winning 12 out of 14 games before AFCON 2023, including victories in the 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign.

The departure of Vitoria adds to the list of coaches parting ways with their teams after AFCON 2023, including Algeria’s Djamel Belmadi, Gambia’s Tom Saintfiet, Ghana’s Chris Hughton, Tunisia’s Jalel Kadri, Tanzania’s Adel Amrouche, and Ivory Coast’s Jean-Louis Gasset.

Amid these changes, reports are linking renowned French coach Herve Renard to the managerial position for the Pharaohs, with discussions reportedly in the final stages.

Egypt last won the AFCON in 2010 and has faced challenges in reclaiming dominance, coupled with struggles in other tournaments like the World Cup.