CAIRO: Former national team manager Mahmoud Al-Gohari has been tipped to take charge of the Egyptian Under-20 team that will compete in the 2009 Under-20 World Cup on home soil, local media reported.
Al-Ahram reported that the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) is interested in recalling the veteran coach after Portuguese Eduardo ‘Nelo’ Vingada turned down the position that was offered to him on Saturday.
Vingada’s contract with the EFA had expired after the Egyptian Olympic team was eliminated from the 2008 Beijing Games qualifiers.
However, EFA officials, who maintain that they believe in the capabilities of Vingada, offered the former Zamalek coach an extension that would allow him to lead the Egyptians in the 2009 tournament.
But Vingada’s refusal opened the door for Al-Gohari to step in as a major candidate.
Al-Gohari, who is currently in charge of the Jordanian national team, has not been officially approached by the EFA.
The 70-year-old manager is considered by many to be the most successful coach in Egyptian football history as he guided Al-Ahly to their first African Champions League trophy in 1982 and helped Egypt reach the 1990 World Cup finals in 1990 before winning the African Cup of Nations eight years later.
If Al-Gohari accepts the position, which remains an uncertainty given his commitment to Jordan, he would be assisted by the team’s current coaching staff that includes Rabie Yassine and Mohamed Al-Saifi.
In related news, Ahly is holding strong in their status among the world s best clubs.
The Reds were ranked at 22nd place in the list of top 350 clubs for April 2007 announced by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics.
The Egyptian giants held the same position they had last month after remaining unbeaten domestically and continentally.
Ahly dominated Arab and African clubs for the 12th consecutive month, maintaining a huge margin over closest rivals Etoile Sahel of Tunisia who lie in 55th place.
The African champions also preceded major clubs in the ranking including the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Valencia.
Ahly arch rivals Zamalek also made a notable progress, jumping from 216th place to 201st place despite their shocking elimination from the African Champions League, but a 4-2 domestic victory over Arab Contractors made the difference. Another Egyptian evolvement came when Ismaili breezed into the list, coming in 285th place for the first time in several months after their impressive 6-1 Confederation Cup victory over Ajesaia which saw them advance to the last 16.
Sevilla topped the list for the second successive month, but the most remarkable advancement was that of Chilean outfit Colo Colo who jumped 14 spots to lie in 4th place.
The top five are Sevilla (Spain), Inter Milan (Italy), Barcelona (Spain), Colo Colo (Chile), and AC Milan (Italy).