June 27, 2018 / 6:54 AM / 19 days ago

Egypt set to clarify Cuper's fate in wake of World Cup exit

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia (Reuters) - Hector Cuper’s future as Egypt coach is set to be clarified on Wednesday, two days after they ended their World Cup campaign bottom of Group A, but the country’s football association has already dropped a broad hint that he is on his way.

Soccer Football - World Cup - Group A - Saudi Arabia vs Egypt - Volgograd Arena, Volgograd, Russia - June 25, 2018 Egypt coach Hector Cuper before the match REUTERS/Darren Staples

With Cuper’s contract at an end, the Egyptian Football Association seemed to confirm they would not be renewing it after a post on their Twitter feed thanked “the technical staff following the end of its contract”.

“We will hold a news conference on Wednesday to answer all the questions,” it added.

Cuper had been noncommittal about his future after they lost their last group game to Saudi Arabia on Monday and exited the tournament without a point, saying he would “see what will happen” after meeting with the EFA when they returned to Cairo.

Cuper had looked set to sign a new deal before the World Cup but three defeats in Russia did not sit well at home. Local media reports said the Egyptian government and parliament had called for investigation into the World Cup performance.

Parliament’s sports committee described the team’s showing as a “disgraceful representation” and the loss to Saudi Arabia as “humiliating,” accusing the EFA of committing “serious violations,” in a statement released on Monday.

Other reports said some angry fans hurled obscenities at the team when they arrived back in Cairo on Tuesday.

Cuper, 62, was appointed in March 2015 and ensured Egypt’s first qualification to the World Cup since 1990, as well as taking a relatively inexperienced side to the final of the last African Nations Cup in early 2017.

A former Argentine international, Cuper made his name as a coach by taking Mallorca to the European Cup Winners Cup final in 1999 and then Valencia to successive Champions League finals in 2000 and 2001.

Egypt will have to move quickly to firm up their coaching situation with 2019 African Nations Cup qualifiers coming up in September.

Editing by Peter Rutherford

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