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Egypt appoints Hossam Hassan as head coach


Egypt has put twin brothers in charge of their national soccer team with Hossam Hassan taking over as coach and Ibrahim Hassan as team director.

The Egyptian Football Association said Tuesday that Hossam Hassan — the country’s all-time top-scorer with 68 goals — will succeed Portuguese coach Rui Vitória, who was fired Sunday after the team’s disappointing performance at the Africa Cup of Nations.

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Egypt, who have won a record seven Africa Cup titles, failed to win a game in the 34th edition of the tournament and was knocked out by Congo in a dramatic penalty shootout in the round of 16.

As a forward, the Cairo-born Hossam Hassan helped Egypt to three of those titles. He played mostly for hometown club Al Ahly, with a sojourn at PAOK in Greece and Swiss team Neuchâtel Xamax. He also played for other Egyptian clubs before retiring in 2008.

He since coached many Egyptian clubs and the Jordán national team.

Ibrahim Hassan, a former defender, also played for Egypt and accompanied his brother at various clubs.

The Egyptian federation had said it was looking for a foreign coach to succeed Vitória. French coach Herve Renard had been tipped to take over.

Vitória, who was appointed Egypt coach on a four-year deal in 2022, failed to get the best out of the team. The Pharaohs drew all their Africa Cup group games by the same score of 2-2 against Mozambique, Ghana and Cape Verde before the loss on penalties to Congo.

After losing Mohamed Salah to a hamstring injury in the second group game against Ghana, and No. 1 goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy with a dislocated shoulder in the third against group winner Cape Verde, the Egyptian federation sacrificed a cow in an attempt the change the team’s luck.

But reserve goalkeeper Mohamed Abou Gabal — whose saves almost won the title for Egypt in the previous edition — struck the crossbar with his spot kick in the penalty shootout before Congo counterpart Lionel Mpasi stepped up to fire Congo into the quarterfinals.

Congo has since progressed to the semifinals, where the Leopards face host nation Ivory Coast on Wednesday.

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