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Uganda, Egypt coaches leave after Cup of Nations exit

In Summary

• Egypt Football Association president Hany Abo Rida announced the firing of the Mexican coach, and his own resignation, less than three hours after the game as a stunned host nation digested the defeat.

• Fufa recognises the contribution by Mr Desabre for the improvement of the sporting and professional organisation of the Uganda Cranes inclusive of qualification to the AFCON 2019 Finals and also to the Round of 16,” said the statement.

Egypt coach Javier Aguirre
Egypt coach Javier Aguirre
Image: /REUTERS

Egypt and Ugandan coaches are the first casualties of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Javier Aguirre was sacked by Egypt just hours after the hosts were bundled out of the tournament by South Africa in the round of 16 while Ugandan Football Federation (Fufa) said in a statement that they had ‘mutually agreed’ to end Sebastien Desabre’s contract.

Hosts Egypt lost 1-0 to an 85th-minute goal from Thembinkosi Lorch on Saturday at the end of a lacklustre display in which their talisman Mohamed Salah looked out of sorts and they produced few goalscoring chances.

Egypt Football Association president Hany Abo Rida announced the firing of the Mexican coach, and his own resignation, less than three hours after the game as a stunned host nation digested the defeat.

Abo Rida also called on his board members to step down, calling his resignation a ‘moral obligation, although the football association had given the national team full material and moral support’.

Meanwhile, Uganda’s announcement was surprising as Desabre had led the team into the knockout round for the first time in 41 years and had spoken about the importance of developing football in the country.

Uganda, playing a bold attacking game, beat Democratic Republic of Congo in their opening game, outplayed hosts Egypt despite losing 2-0 and gave Senegal a run for their money in the round of 16 before losing 1-0.

However, their campaign was also hit by a payment row with players at one point refusing to train. It was settled after FUFA said it had offered the players an additional $6,000 each.

“Fufa recognises the contribution by Mr Desabre for the improvement of the sporting and professional organisation of the Uganda Cranes inclusive of qualification to the AFCON 2019 Finals and also to the Round of 16,” said the statement.

“Mr Desabre is grateful to the people and the Government of Uganda, FUFA, Sponsors, Staff and the players that have provided him a good environment to fulfil his obligations in his first time role as a National Team Coach.”

Desabre, 42, only played football semi-professionally and abandoned his career early to concentrate on coaching.