Egypt coach Hector Cuper has been given an assurance by the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) that his job as head coach is intact as he is guaranteed of the EFA full support after the Argentine lost in the final of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday in Stade de l’Amitie in Gabon.
The Pharaohs, who had expected a record-extending trophy on Sunday lost 2-1 to the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, no thanks to the superb second half comeback by their opponents as Nicolas Nkoulou and Christian Bassogog goals cancelled Mohamed Elneny’s 22nd minute goal.
“He will stay as head coach, we like what he is doing with the team,” said EFA president Hany Abo Rida.
“We are in a good place in World Cup qualification and we dream we can reach the tournament in Russia in 2018. We all support him.”
Egypt came through the group stage as group D winners after two wins (1-0 apiece over Uganda and Ghana) and a goalless draw with Mali, and beating fellow North Africa long-time archrivals Morocco 1-0 in the quarter finals.
The seven-time champions overcame Burkina Faso 5-4 on penalties in the semi-finals to book a final with Cameroon, who had themselves thrashed tournament favourites Senegal and Ghana on their way to the final.
Cuper took the Pharaohs to their first nations Cup appearance for the first time since 2010, ending a six-year absence from the finals.
Meanwhile, the failure to get the cup had added another salt to injury of Cuper’s experience in the final of major tournaments, having experienced such fate in his past career at the club level.
Cuper admitted his frustration losing at another final: “I don’t want to say I’m used to losing another final, it’s one more for me, but the point is that I wanted to win this one.
However, he has since apologized to the teeming Egyptian fans who had longed to see the Pharaohs come home with trophy for a record eight time.
The 61-year-old, who took charge in 2015 after replacing indigenous Shawki Gharieb, was the only South American coach in the tournament.
The widely travelled tactician has restored Egyptian football back to its glory days after some very difficult years in which football was plunged into turmoil resulting in fans’ violence and supporter bans, a consequence of serious political instability in Egypt.
“He has done his best since he took charge and he has helped us build a new team,” added Rida. “There is no room for talking about ending Cuper’s contract,” the EFA concluded.
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