Carlos Queiroz steps down as Egypt manager after failure to reach 2022 World Cup

Pharaohs again defeated in a penalty shootout by Senegal in two-legged playoff tie

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Carlos Queiroz announced his immediate departure from his role as Egypt manager after the penalty shootout defeat to Senegal ended their hopes of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.

Queiroz took charge of the Pharaohs in September last year and led the team to the Africa Cup of Nations final in February, where they also lost in a penalty shootout to Senegal. It was a case of history repeating itself on Tuesday as another shootout defeat to Senegal put paid to their hopes of reaching Qatar.

A clause in Queiroz's contract stipulated that it would be terminated if Egypt failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, and the Portuguese coach confirmed he would be stepping down with immediate effect.

“It’s time for me to leave the leadership of Egypt to someone else,” Queiroz said. “Today my dream was to get Egypt for the fifth time to me to the World Cup, but it was [Aliou] Cisse who qualified with Senegal.

“The game is over. We unfortunately failed to reach the World Cup. It’s all over and there’s not a lot of things to say. I congratulate [my players] on the game they played and I also congratulate Senegal after playing a big game. We should not forget that Senegal will represent Africa in the World Cup and we wish them good luck.

“Egypt will start preparing for the upcoming tournaments as well as the qualifying campaign for the 2026 World Cup.”

The tie ended 1-1 after Senegal won the second leg 1-0, following Egypt's one-goal victory in Cairo in the first fixture. The contest was settled in a penalty shootout that saw Mohamed Salah, Ahmed Sayed Zizo, and Mostafa Mohamed all miss their spot kicks, with Salah subjected to laser pens being shone in his face as he prepared to take his penalty. As was the case in the Afcon final, Salah's Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane scored the winning penalty to send Senegal to the World Cup.

Queiroz admitted that he wanted to face Senegal and Cisse again in the hope of exacting revenge for the Afcon final heartbreak, and believes that if he had more time to work with the Egypt squad then the outcome of their World Cup qualifying campaign could have been different.

Carlos Queiroz has stepped down as Egypt manager. AFP

“I have no objection to admitting it, I wanted to meet Cisse again to beat him," he said. “But maybe if I had worked like him for seven years with Egypt as he continued with Senegal, I would have won it.

“Tonight we have provided all the solutions, but this is the race for the World Cup, more than 230 countries are competing to reach the World Cup, but only the best do so."

In addition to the Salah's laser pen treatment, the match in Dakar was marred by accusations of racism as well as the Egypt team bus being vandalised.

"The Egypt national team have been exposed to racism with offensive signs in the stands against the Egyptian players in general, and Mohamed Salah in particular," a statement from the Egyptian FA read.

"The crowd also intimidated the players by throwing bottles and rocks on them during the warm-up.

"The Egyptian group's bus has also been exposed to assaults that led to broken windows and injuries; filed with pictures and videos as proof in the complaint submitted."

Updated: March 30, 2022, 8:31 AM
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